Within two hours of the massive power outage, groups of black men were grouped and window shopping. This reporter witnessed 3 groups of at least 10 black men who were passing bandanas to one another in the Tenderloin District near Jones and Geary.
There was the tension of indecision. They were aware of the police but also aware that the police were swamped with medical emergencies.
Several neighborhoods in San Francisco were affected by a blackout on Friday morning. The blackout was caused by a massive power outage. The blackout hit the Financial District to the Presidio, forcing the closure of businesses, a BART station, cable car service and a federal courthouse.
Reports the spokesman for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. indicated that 88,000 customers lost power and that there had been a fire at a substation at Larkin and Eddy streets. However, it was not clear whether the fire caused the outage, which swept through the city about 9 a.m., or was it was ignited by the outage.
PG&E officials reported that crews were still working on the problem and estimated that most customers would have their power restored by 1 p.m. Power was back on for about 10,000 customers at 11:45 a.m.
Shortly after 11:30 a.m, BART reopened its Montgomery Station by using generators for power, though elevators and escalators were not working.
Reports also indicated that the San Francisco Fire Department was responding to more than 100 calls for service in the Financial District and beyond. The calls included 20 elevators with people stuck inside. However, no immediate injuries were reported. Sirens blared everywhere as engines maneuvered along streets jammed with traffic.
Drivers were so frustrated as they honked at each other due to the traffic lights that were out at scores of intersections, and cars were backing up on downtown streets.
The BART’s Montgomery Station was closed for more than two hours, with trains running through the station without stopping, before the agency reopened it.
Unfortunately, all cable cars were down, as were several Muni bus lines that typically run on electricity from overhead wires, including the 30, 45, 22, and 24. Shuttles were put in place to provide service.
However, the Muni trains were still running both underground and above ground, though delays were expected due to the extensive problems with traffic lights. However, the subway stop at Montgomery Street was closed.
Reports also indicated that nineteen schools in San Francisco were struck by the outage, including Spring Valley Science School, Sutro Elementary, Civic Center Secondary School, Alamo Elementary, Galileo Academy of Science and Technology and Cobb Elementary.
One of the many buildings that had to be closed down included the Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse at 450 Golden Gate Ave.
Reports from PG&E spokesman indicated that the company was trying to determine the cause of the outage. Surprisingly, the outage hit at roughly the same time as the substation fire. However, spokesman Paul Doherty reported that it was not yet clear whether the blaze was a cause of the blackout or the result of it. The firefighters reported that the fire was extinguished at 11 a.m. This was after the PG&E staff and San Francisco firefighters responded to the fire.