Milpitas experienced two power outages due to soaring temperatures on May 3, which resulted in hundreds of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers and the Great Mall to lose power for part of the day.
The first outage that began at 3:05 p.m. — which affected the areas of North Abel Street, Marylinn Drive and South Milpitas Boulevard — left 1,370 customers without power at its peak, according to PG&E spokeswoman Mayra Tostado.
Tostado said by 4:15 p.m. that day 220 customers were still without power. She added all power had been restored by 6 p.m.
The second outage at 5 p.m. was at an electrical vault outside the Great Mall, where the heat caused equipment to fail and cause some electrical sparking, Tostado said. The outage caused parts of the Great Mall, The Home Depot at 1177 Great Mall Drive and nearby residences to lose power, according to Milpitas Deputy Fire Chief Rick Frawley.
Frawley said Milpitas fire crews responded to an electrical vault outside the mall with a high voltage line that ran into the vault at an angle, which had had some sort of malfunction. He added PG&E arrived 20 minutes after the outage started to begin repairs.
Tostado said both outages were heat related, adding the South Bay experienced high temperatures on May 3.
“So the power grid gets overloaded from too much use and can cause equipment to fail; it got overloaded and shut down,” Tostado said. “Equipment at the Great Mall failed from excessive use so there could have been a spark that ignited the equipment, but the fire department was able to make the area safe and allow PG&E crews to get in there and make repairs.”
She added there was sparking, but no actual fire in the electrical vault. Tostado said those affected by the Great Mall outage had their power back by 8:30 p.m.
Although some stores had back up generators, people inside the mall reported being escorted out by mall security.
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