Outage traps former PG&E employee | TheUnion.com

Outage traps former PG&E employee

A power outage darkened part of the downtown Grass Valley area Thursday morning.

A wire burned out in an underground cable beneath the sidewalk, and right in front of the Grass Valley PG&E office at 127 East Main Street at 9:16 a.m., according to PG&E employee Gary Coburn. That caused a senior citizen who worked at PG&E for 45 years to be trapped in an elevator for 15 to 20 minutes.

The outage cut power to 1,143 customers from South Auburn Street to Idaho-Maryland Road and up the hill to the north into the residential neighborhood, PG&E spokeswoman Lisa Randle said.

Elton Myers, 97, was riding down to the first floor in a two-story elevator at the Hilltop Commons Seniors Residence on Eureka Street, when everything stopped and went dark.

“I knew where I was and wasn’t excited,” Myers said. “I wasn’t scared,” because he had dealt with many outages during his career in Northern California. Myers simply sat down on the seat of his walker and waited for help.

“I think I was at the first floor and I could hear everybody,” Myers said. Once Grass Valley firemen and elevator company personnel freed him, “I had to step up about six or eight inches,” to get out.

“We’ve been here 18 years and that’s the first time it ever happened,” said Amanda Sheeler, administrator at the residence. “The lights flashed about three times before they went out.”

Sheeler said a crew from the Elevator Services Company of Sacramento happened to be in Nevada City when the outage occurred and responded to the residence immediately. Fire department members stayed to watch the crew fix the elevator and learned some valuable lessons, Sheeler said.

Power was restored at 10:22 a.m. to 1,143 customers, with 68 more getting back on the grid at 11:25 a.m., Randle said.

“It was the first time I can remember the post office being without power for that long,” said Grass Valley postal employee Kim Molsberry. “We had to lock the doors and send customers to Nevada City.”


To contact senior staff writer Dave Moller, e-mail davem@theunion.com or call 477-4237.

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