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Brief power outage in Alameda’s East End under investigation

Submitted by on 1, April 5, 2011 – 8:58 am14 Comments
File photo.

Officials with Alameda Municipal Power are investigating an early morning power outage that briefly cut off power to Bay Farm Island and the main Island’s East End.

AMP spokesman Matt McCabe said the 12-minute outage began at 7:33 a.m. and affected 15,000 customers on Bay Farm Island and east of Sherman Street.

McCabe said the cause of the outage is under investigation, but a source at AMP said they believe interference with the utility’s power lines may have caused the outage.

The outage is the sixth one Alameda residents have weathered in the last six months.

Separately, Island residents said they heard the city’s emergency sirens sound at around 8:15 a.m., about a half hour after the outage ceased. Acting Fire Chief Michael Fisher said the sirens weren’t activated, and said he believes the sound residents heard may have been a fire alarm.


  • Mike B says:

    That was no fire alarm. That was definitely the city’s Warning system.

    It concerns me that the Acting Fire Chief thinks it might have been a fire alarm. There’s a big difference.

    • Neal_J says:

      Concur, heard it loudly here in Harbor Bay business park.

      Definitely the City’s emergency siren and NOT an alarm.

      Thanks for the update, Michele.

    • Jennifer Fisher says:

      I heard the siren too. It sounded just like the City’s emergency siren to me, but further away. I live on Encinal, down the street from the siren at the fire station on Park and Encinal. The siren did not sound like a fire alarm to me, but it was not coming from the City’s emergency siren located at the fire station.

  • Mike M says:

    When is this nonsense going to end ? Every other day having to reset alarms and today alarms not going off ! Ive seen the crews out working and I understand they need to do there jobs , but someone has been at fault here and needs to take steps to insure this thing does’nt happen again . A couple weeks ago half the homes on Laurel St. began smoking after a massive power surge to a
    transformer occured . Lets get it together Alameda Power !

    • apt says:

      Being able to come home to your home everyday (provided your bill is payed) is a luxury, not a guarantee. Expecting the power to never be interrupted is not a reality. Most of the power failures in Alameda are due to unavoidable problems, such as geese flying into lines, squirrels making fatal mistakes crossing cross arms, or wind wrecking havoc on the lines. Sometimes the wires just get old, and sometimes underground wires experience faults. Be thankful for the crews that go out at all hours of the day or night to restore the power for you despite weather conditions rather than blaming APT. Nobody complains when the power is on, but they are very quick to criticize when they are required to reset the blinking clock.

  • Jackie says:

    An emergency siren is located right next to my house in Bay farm… And I did not hear an emergency siren. I think the acting chief is correct; it had to have been a fire alarm.

  • cgottstein says:

    Power was out on Grand St. @ 7:33 AM for abt 10 min. That’s not the EastEnd, it’s Central Alameda. I heard no sirens & the traffic signals were out (I heard much honking). I tuned to our so-called ER AM radio frequency 1280 & THERE WAS NO INFO ABT THIS! Just public service ads, not even a phone number you could call! At least they finally removed the “shelter-in-place has been lifted Sept 28 on Bay Farm” which was broadcast for 5 months after the fact. What’s up with that???

  • cgottstein says:

    Oh, and when I arrived @ the library @ 10 am, altho the power was back on, the elevators were still disabled, making it impossible for folks w/wheelchairs or walkers to get to the 2nd floor computers! Thanks to libe staff for carrying mine up the stairs!!

  • notafirealarm says:

    What I heard did not sound like a fire alarm but more like a city warning system. My money is on someone at AMP made a mistake while working on the power grid.

  • Minta Lenaine says:

    Beg to differ, Jackie. I was walking with kids to school this a.m. at 8:15 and it was not a fire alarm. The kids thought it might be the school fire alarm, but it was not.

    • Jackie says:

      Well, I am on the other side of Bay Farm and there was no alarm here…. Trust me; I would hear the one on this side since it looms over my house. The article says the alarm went off near the golf course, so it makes sense that you heard it at the school.

  • Christian says:

    Was cycling to work/school with my son this morning. Loud explosion across Lincoln from the police station as we turned around the library from Oak to Linoln. Smoke in the sky over the rooftops there. Figured that was the cause of the outage as 5 seconds later we noticed no traffic lights etc at Park and Lincoln

  • Chris says:

    I also heard a loud explosion this morning, right before the power went out. I was in my home on Pacific Ave near Oak St., one block over from Lincoln.

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