Power has returned to most of Carmel, more than three days after it went out during high winds Thursday night, March 9. Although, at least two sections of the city are still out in the northwest and south, according to City Administrator Chip Rerig.
He says the city had 40 downed trees, mostly in the public right of way, with a massive tree on 2nd Avenue between Lincoln and Dolores streets falling and snapping two power poles. There were transformers down on the street, as well as communication equipment for Comcast, creating an internet outage.
City Hall has power but no internet or phone service as of Monday morning, March 13. Employees are using their personal cell phones and using paper forms for things like permits; some employees are working from home to access the internet that way.
While parts of Monterey had power back on by Saturday morning, Carmel remained in the dark with no sign of PG&E crews at work, Rerig says. PG&E workers in private vehicles were stationed wherever there were downed lines to protect the public, but no repair crews were seen around town Friday or Saturday.
On Monday morning about a dozen PG&E trucks could be seen at the site where poles had snapped. Crews were working on repairing lines in order to be re-electrified.
Other areas in the region that were still without power as of Monday morning include Pebble Beach and Carmel Highlands. The total number of customers without power was just over 1,600.
While the power remains out—or if power goes out again in the next atmospheric river to come in the next two days—Carmel is operating a warming shelter from 8am-6pm at the Carmel Youth Center at Torres Street and 4th Avenue. People can charge devices, get a cup of coffee and even work on jigsaw puzzles. The shelter is being staffed by the city's Community Emergency Response Team volunteers, as well as VIPS, Volunteers in Police Service.
As for the next storm coming toward the Central Coast, PG&E shared with Pacific Grove City Manager Ben Harvey that the crews dispatched to the area on Friday and Saturday will remain in place to be ready in case more power lines come down in high winds with gusts that are expected to possibly reach as high as 50mph.
For more on what happened with power outages, as well as other storm impacts throughout the county, see the Weekly's coverage found here.
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