Power restored to Treasure Island after generator fails

The power has been on and off since Tuesday on Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island, both currently being run on generator power. But on Friday night, the Treasure Island generator failed. 

"It's dark. I can't watch TV or anything," said Treasure Island resident Dean Williams.

Power outages are much more dangerous for 22 year-resident Alexandria Rockett, who cares for her disabled daughter. 

"It went off at 11:30 last night and came back on at 12 [noon]. That's a long time," said Rockett. "My daughter has a chest compressor, breathing machine, suction machine, like 4 or 5 machines so it's a big concern."

It was also cold overnight. 

"It's almost like we're living with the roofs off. That's how it felt," said Rockett.

Part of the problem is Treasure Island's aging infrastructure, inherited by the U.S Navy. 

"A lot of that infrastructure is 40 to 50 years old. The useful life is about 20-25 years old for that kind of equipment," said Will Reisman, spokesperson for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. 

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is in charge of maintaining and operating the equipment, but the Treasure Island Development Authority owns it. 

"We are unable to make investments in it, and the reason why the TI development authority isn't doing it is because there's a big huge development plan for 2021," said Reisman.

The Treasure Island Development Authority said this week's outage was due to damage to one of its lines coming from Oakland. 

"The original outage was to a line in Oakland that feeds the submarine cable that serves Treasure Island, we think that may have been damaged during construction by a third party," said Treasure Island Development Authority director Robert Beck.

The Authority said the damaged line is being repaired and in 2021, a new switch gear will be installed on the island, which should improve electrical reliability. 

By noon Saturday, power was restored to residences, but not to commercial properties. That put Rockett in a difficult position to find groceries. 

"I have a handicapped daughter, I'm a single mom," said Rockett. "I have to pay somebody to come watch her, so I can go to the city to do those types of things. It's a big inconvenience."

There have been 11 power outages on Treasure Island so far this year. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission says residents can go online to file reimbursement claims if they've had any food spoil because of this last power outage.