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Faulty Switch, Car Crash Blamed for 2 Power Outages

One incident took place at Las Gallinas substation; separate one 30 minutes later triggered by crash in Kentfield.

All customers who experienced a large power outage Tuesday night in the northern portions of San Rafael had power restored by 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

A few people affected by a separate incident in Kentfield remained without power into Wednesday morning, she said.

The first outage also affected residents of some southern Novato areas, but it mostly caused problems in Marinwood, Lucas Valley, the Smith Ranch area, Santa Venetia and Terra Linda starting at about 6 p.m. At its peak, the outage caused .

Brittany McKannay of PG&E said the outage was caused by a broken switch at the Las Gallinas substation. The switch had opened and crews were unable to close it for a while, she said.

Joseph Robinow said on the San Rafael Patch Facebook page he was driving south on Highway 101 after 6 p.m. on Feb. 19, approaching Marinwood, when he saw “a very large flash of light ... up the hill on my left (just east of 101).” 

A separate incident in Kentfield caused outages in the Gerstle Park neighborhood of downtown San Rafael. At about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, a car struck a power pole at 15 Rosebank Avenue, not far from the junction of Wolfe Grade and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, McKannay said.

About 3,600 customers lost electricity from that crash. Outages were reported in Kentfield, Greenbrae, the Wolfe Grade area and Gerstle Park. The College of Marin posted on its Facebook page at 8 p.m. that all night classes were cancelled due to the outage. 

McKannay said it would be late Wednesday morning by the time repair crews finished installing a new power pole and hanging the power lines. She credited firefighters for clearing the area and maintaining safety before the PG&E repair crew arrived.

For more on these outages, see this article on Patch, comments on the San Rafael Patch Facebook page or this Marin Independent Journal article

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