Winds down trees, knock out power

The wind caused a large tree to fall into a house in the 100 block of Tasso St. in Palo Alto yesterday. Photo by Post reader Helen Kim.

By the Daily Post staff

Winds hitting maximum speeds of 40-55 mph caused many trees to fall on the Mid-Peninsula — sometimes on cars, homes or power lines.

Due to trees hitting power lines or cars crashing into poles, much of southern San Mateo County, parts of Palo Alto and Mountain View were without power yesterday (Tuesday, Feb. 21), with some areas expected to be without power until 11 p.m. tonight (Wednesday), according to PG&E estimations.

In Menlo Park where much of the city was without power last night, many of the traffic lights were out east of El Camino Real because of downed wires and a car that struck a pole on Marsh Road, and there were long traffic delays on Middlefield Road.

A tree crashed into a utility pole on Selby Lane in Atherton, causing outages in Atherton and Menlo Park. Many swaths didn’t have estimated times for the power to come back on, but it was estimated for parts of Atherton and Menlo Park that the power would turn back on by 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. today (Wednesday).

In Redwood City, trees were also the cause of many power outages, with one tree bringing down a power line near Woodside Road and El Camino Real.

A tree fell onto a home near El Camino Real in Redwood City, damaging the roof, according to KPIX. No one was injured.

In East Palo Alto, University Avenue was closed for over an hour yesterday because of a possible live power line laying across the road. EPA officials had to wait for PG&E crews to “become available” to remove the wire, according to a Facebook post by the police department.

Palo Alto experienced approximately four outages in different parts of the city affecting 3,600 homes and businesses, city Utilities spokeswoman Catherine Elvert said.

Mountain View and Stanford also had power outages. Last night in Mountain View, the area along Central Expressway from about San Antonio Road to Sunnyvale was without power. Much of Stanford Campus was without power last night.

Some downed wires in Menlo Park and Atherton couldn’t be removed as quickly as city officials wanted because PG&E crews were being stretched thin.

Menlo Park Fire Marshal Jon Johnston said at one point during the afternoon, San Mateo County’s dispatch received too many calls and had to prioritize which ones to send emergency responders.

There is a wind advisory in place until 1 p.m. today (Wednesday), according to the National Weather Service, a freeze warning is in place until 9 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday).


  1. With power outages getting more frequent due to increasingly extreme weather, isn;t it time to rethink our forced conversion to all-electric?? At the very least, wait until the entire city of Palo Alto has underground wiring.

    That makes a LOT more sense than wasting $144,909,999 on the very risky delusion that Palo Alto can compete with AT&T and other bug companies on fiber!

  2. Some East Palo Alto residents have been told by PG&E that other communities took precedence over them in power restoration. My family members in East Palo Alto are hanging in okay but as this is the 3rd business day without power, many households are suffering from lack of heat, no hot water, no access to cooking, and much of their food is ruined. Some media focus on this could be helpful.

    • With gas water heaters and stoves, you can still cook and take hot showers when electric is down. But if/when natural gas is banned and reliance on only one source of power – which isn’t all that reliable to begin with – residents will suffer more. Is that the goal?

  3. I live in Linfield Oaks in Menlo Park and we too have been without power since about 1 pm Feb 21; PG&E did not communicate any timeline for resolution for another day and a half after the outage began. Currently PG&E estimates power resumption is 11 PM on Feb 23. Agree with Melissa that 3 days is a long time with no heat, hot water or electricity along with minimal communication for residents to use to plan what to do in this situation. On top of this, it was also unclear just how extensive the outages were in various neighborhoods and municipalities to know what resources may have been available there. And the colder weather over these past few days made it even more difficult for residents without power . All in all, PG&E, media and municipalities need to do better dealing with these kinds of situations on a number of levels.

  4. Before I go electric, I’d like to know what criteria the state will use in shutting off power? Will the state use DEI to decide who loses power? If so, how do I — as a white male — get off that list? Will contributions to Democrats help? A vegan diet? Appropriating the identity of a Person of Color?

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