Heat knocks out power to thousands in NE Fresno


The first 100 degree day of the year triggered a heat-related power outage affecting tens of thousands of people in Fresno.

Nearly 22,00 PG&E customers lost power in Northeast Fresno and parts of Clovis Wednesday.

Fresno State, Campus Pointe and many surrounding businesses had to close.

“Like really, the first triple digit weather and (the powers) out,” Miriam Valdes who lost her power said. 

Riki Garcia manags the Five Guys at Campus Point. He said it went out around 1:30 p.m. Fortunately no customers were affected. But he and his employees were just keeping busy cleaning and waiting. 

“I mean we’re just biding our time. We put our food back into the walk in so it stays nice and fresh, iced it down as best we could. So we’re just going to wait it out,” he said.

Others, like Mike Phelps, were sent home from work early. He said you can’t work without power. 

“Now we’re out here waiting for the bus, and you never really know how much you need power until it’s not there,” he said.

A PG&E spokesman said the outage was caused by a heat-related equipment failure at a substation on First and Bullard. 

Power to stoplights was also knocked out, causing massive delays on busy roads. 

A graduation at Save Mart Center was also impacted. Hoover High School’s ceremony was scheduled for 4 p.m.

“Well at first I was thinking ‘Man, is graduation going to get canceled?,'” Patrick Murphy said. “Then our campus school director came out and reassured us that Save Mart Center was going to take care of it all, and they got us water and refreshments.” 

The outage did end up postponing the ceremony, and a long line of people had to wait outside in the heat. 

By 5 p.m. PG&E was able to restore power to all customers. 

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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