TREASURE ISLAND (CBS SF) — People living on Treasure Island may not have been affected by the recent PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs, but some residents on Wednesday were still without electricity following the latest outage.
On Wednesday power was slowly being restored to residents as crews use generators to bring back electricity to the island.
Officials said the issue began Tuesday afternoon at around 2:30 p.m. when they reported a problem with a substation in Oakland.
When the power flipped off on Tuesday, the SFPUC switched Treasure island to generator power. But, the generators didn’t have enough fuel on a chilly, windy November night, so they were turned off from midnight to 5 am.
The island has had 11 power outages in 2019. The island gets electricity from the Davis substation located at the Port of Oakland.
“A lot of the infrastructure out there is 40 to 50 years old. To put it into context, the useful life of most electrical infrastructure is 30 years. So, a lot of that infrastructure is outdated, old and needs to be replaced,” said SFPUC press secretary Will Reisman.
You don’t have to go far on Treasure Island to find people fed up with the repeated power outages.
“It’s bad. Like, people can’t work. Can’t charge their phone. What’s weird is when you lose power, we don’t have no service,” said Treasure Island resident Jeremy Granger.
“We went to the store and we spent $1,200 dollars on food and the meat that is sitting in the refrigerator is going bad because there is no electricity. All night we did not have the electricity,” said TI resident Neubungu Mapanen. “The electricity came back at 6 am in the morning – it was back for one hour and the electricity went off and it hasn’t been back yet.”
The power lines and grid on the island were passed down from United States Navy and are now in control of the Treasure Island Development Authority — but powered by the SFPUC. Reisman told KPIX 5 the power troubles could continue on TI for the next year and a half until redevelopment is complete.
With condos and hotels coming soon to Treasure Island, restaurants like Mersea are setting up shop here, hoping to cash in when the crowds arrive, but the constant power woes are hitting the bottom line hard.
“Obviously when the power goes down, our fridges go down. We don’t have any hot running water. So, we try to keep everything cool, try to keep a cap on the loss of product,” said Thomas Raeburn of Mersea.