SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews completed repairs to three transmission towers in Burlingame ahead of schedule, after a third party doing construction work severely damaged the towers and related electrical equipment on Friday night, halting traffic on Highway 101 on the Peninsula in both directions.
Despite the severity of the damage caused by third-party contractor Jafec USA Inc., PG&E was able to make the situation safe, together with first responders and partner agencies, and complete the repairs to its infrastructure necessary for the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to re-open Highway 101 at 2:30 p.m. today, two and a half hours ahead of schedule.
Caltrans provided three 70-foot wooden poles to allow PG&E to quickly construct a temporary replacement for the most seriously damaged tower. The crane operated by the third-party contractor buckled the tower, and the resulting strain on the transmission wires caused damage to the two other connected transmission towers.
“Our partner agencies have done a tremendous job to help make the situation safe for the public and assist in this major repair and restoration effort. We appreciate the patience of the public, the hard work of our employees to safely and quickly address the situation, and the combined partnership of CHP, Caltrans, Burlingame Fire Department and Burlingame Police Department throughout the night and this morning,” said Jason Regan, Director of Emergency Management at PG&E.
PG&E worked with first responders, including the CHP and local police and fire agencies, during the incident to make the area safe, resulting in no injuries. The CHP ordered occupants in several vehicles to shelter in place until PG&E could de-energize and ground the wires. PG&E appreciates the patience of those who remained in their cars and the good work of the CHP to keep these vehicle occupants safe.
PG&E had electric first responders on site within 10 minutes of the accident, and additional resources and crews from across Northern California were dispatched to the scene. Specialized equipment, personnel and vehicles were integral for a repair job of this magnitude on a primary artery of the electric system.
PG&E activated its incident command and deployed two PG&E Mobile Command Vehicles to manage the company’s response.
In the coming weeks, PG&E will need to do further repairs or replace the damaged towers before restringing and energizing the wires.
Some important tips to remember when dealing with downed wires include:
- Treat all low-hanging and downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous.
- Keep yourself, other people and pets away from them.
- Be aware of trees, pools of water and other objects that may be in contact with downed power lines.
- If customers see damaged power lines and electric equipment, they should call 911, and then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.