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2,781 homes lose power; Flex Alert in effect

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2,781 homes lose power; Flex Alert in effect

A PG&E lineman is seen atop a power pole in the rear yard of a home in the 1000 block of Tenaya Court near El Portal and Yosemite avenues.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin/


POSTED June 20, 2017 1:27 a.m.

Nearly 2,800 homes were without power — many for as long as six hours — as Manteca was slammed with a heat wave of triple digit temperatures expected to last through Sunday.
There were 2,750 homes in northwest Manteca — including almost all of Del Webb at Woodbridge — that lost power shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday when a vehicle struck a utility pole on Union Road,
The last outage impacting 31 homes on and around Tenya Court southeast of the Union Road and Yosemite Avenue intersection happened Monday afternoon as power grid operators issued a Flex Alert.
The California Independent System Operator Monday urged consumers not to use major appliances from 2 to 9 p.m. today and Wednesday. They also asked people to set air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher and turn off unnecessary lights to ease strain on the power grid.
As many as 9,000 residents were without power between 6:30 p.m. Sunday and 12:30 a.m. Monday.
The lights were out from Lathrop Road on the south – including most of Union Square anchored by Raley’s – to French Camp Road. Raley’s Supermarket was able to switch to its own generator.
Alyssa Volk said she was relaxing Monday at 4 p.m. in a neighbor’s pool on Tenaya Court after working at Walmart while her dad Pat was nearby at their home watching the weather on Channel 3.  She saw smoke coming from a transformer on a utility pole behind 1056 Tenaya Court and then a bubbling liquid come from the bottom of the unit before it exploded. Volk saw fire coming from wires leading into the house from an apparent electrical surge. Volk altered neighbors to the danger.
Michael Edward who lives two houses down and volunteers for the Manteca Fire Department, said the original problem was with a transformer several homes to the east along his back fence, noting that PG&E workers were already on the scene.  Both Edward and Volk agreed that the problem seemed to come from that transformer when the power line was recharged. 
Seeing the flash of fire at the rear of the home, a PG&E worker and a neighbor ran to the back of the house with hand-held fire extinguishers as engines raced to the scene from a 911 call as the second floor was filling with a light smoke.
Three fire engines had responded to the scene with one from Lathrop along with an AMR ambulance since all Manteca District Ambulances were out on other calls. 
Manteca firefighters and PG&E workers checked the plug sockets with meters before leaving the scene to ensure that there was no fire or extreme heat present in the wiring that could erupt into a fire later that could destroy the home.  No one was injured in the incident.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email gkahl@mantecabulletin.com.

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