Oakland went dark after a fire tore through a California power substation. While we don’t know the cause, it follows a series of targeted attacks on substations across the United States. It caused a power outage affecting 54,000 people.
An unknown number of flights were grounded. Pacific Gas and Electric officials are investigating.
The Oakland Airport in Northern California lost power Sunday evening, and the outage affected over 50,000 customers after the fire at an electrical substation in Alameda County. More than 9,000 in the Bay Area are still impacted.
Bay Area reporter Matt Zuchilli posted an outage map showing the affected area.
#BREAKING The city of Oakland is experiencing a power outage. PG&E outage map reports that more than 54-thousand customers are without power. Coliseum Way is having traffic issues. Please drive safely through the area. @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/X05FNl1qAb
— John Zuchelli (@tvzuke) February 19, 2023
A representative for PG&E confirmed the widespread outage on Twitter just after 2.50 pm Pacific Standard Time.
#Oakland: We are aware of the large outage in Oakland impacting approximately 50,000 customers. We are currently investigating the details and will provide more information on the timing of restoration as soon as we can.
— Tamar Sarkissian (@PGE_Tamar) February 19, 2023
Just after 3 pm, a battalion chief with the Oakland Fire Department confirmed the blaze had been put out and that PG&E officials were working to determine a cause.
“Approximately about one o’clock this afternoon, we were called for a fire coming from inside the PG&E yard,” the battalion chief said while speaking with local media.
“We were able to gain access into the PG&E yard and found that there was a transformer actively burning,” the Oakland Fire official said.
PG&E officials will have “to really look at all the equipment” before a cause can be determined.
The fire at the substation located at 50th x Coliseum is now out, as of 230PM. Please check the PG&E outage map at https://t.co/Cd7qhZjkMo for current status updates and timelines for restoration. There is no Hazmat concern or evacuations necessary. No further updates. pic.twitter.com/SPm6kTTTUt
— Oakland Fire Department (CA) (@OaklandFireCA) February 19, 2023
The airport became a bit chaotic.
One video shared by a Twitter user named Matt Ashlock shows passengers at a standstill.
Incoming passengers also arrived to find that baggage claim was unavailable, resulting in even more delays.
Just before 3 pm, Ashlock tweeted that machines at security appeared to be back up and running, and the line had begun moving again.
UPDATE: Machines seem to now be powered, line has started moving pic.twitter.com/FFu4BmtQsb
— matt ashlock (@matt_ashlock) February 19, 2023
LEFTISTS CALL FOR ATTACKS
Attacks on numerous substations across the country have often resulted from calls by leftist radicals. There was a serious outage in every case. The attackers knew what to hit.
According to a federal memo last December, at least five attacks at electricity substations in the Pacific Northwest had been reported to the FBI. This is in addition to the attack in Moore County late last year.
The Department of Homeland Security warned earlier this year that domestic extremists have been developing plans to target the US power grid since 2020.
Outages in some remote areas were more than an inconvenience. They were dangerous since they were in cold, remote areas.