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Questions Linger About Oakland Fire Department’s Failed Backup Generator

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(AP)

(AP)

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OAKLAND (KCBS) – Only a handful of PG&E customers started their Monday morning without power.

When Sunday’s storm blew through the Bay Area, storm-related equipment problems caused power outages for some 15,000 PG&E customers. Even Oakland’s police and fire departments were forced to improvise during the inclement weather.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Eleven thousand customers saw their power restored by 9:00 p.m. Sunday.

Power was restored to an Oakland Police Department building at approximately 8:45 p.m. Sunday. The facility lost power at 2:00 p.m.

Oakland’s main fire station, at 16th and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, scrambled when its backup generator failed to kick in after that facility lost power.

“Obviously we had a failure in those backup systems and in about an hour’s time, with the help of a city engineer, he was able to get our systems back up in there and we’re fully functional now,” said Battalion Chief William Towner.

He stressed that there was never a problem with the 911 emergency system. Still, officials planned to investigate the generator failure on Monday.

“Approximately an hour’s period we had a total power failure,
Towner said. “In our dispatch center, we have backup systems that are supposed to keep that from happening.”

During the outage, fire personnel relied on index cards and two way radios to field calls.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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