Unexpected outage not related to Truckee earthquake | TheUnion.com
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Unexpected outage not related to Truckee earthquake

Earthquake tremors and brief outage unrelated

The 20-minute power outage late Thursday in the Brunswick Basin was unrelated to that night’s Truckee-based earthquake, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company reported.

According to the United States Geological Survey, an earthquake of 4.7 magnitude and about 6 miles deep took place at 9:35 p.m.

The quake’s epicenter was in the North Lake Tahoe region, but the instability caused by the seismic activity was felt in the far west end of Nevada County.



Nevada City artist Aaron Rhein was sitting at the kitchen table of a friend’s house on North Auburn Street in Grass Valley when he received a government-produced emergency text reporting an earthquake in the area and warning of the dangers of aftershock tremors.

“Right when I read that, the whole left side of the house and table shook for one or two seconds,” Rhein said.




Rhein said he was surprised at the synchronous timing of the text and the tremor. Rhein said he received a call a little while later from a friend who lived behind the Grass Valley SaveMart who was affected by the outage, but had not felt the earthquake at all.

According to Megan McFarland, of PG&E’s marketing and communications team, the Grass Valley-focused outage lasted 20 minutes — from 9:54 p.m. to 10:14 p.m — and impacted 5,428 customers.

McFarland said the outage extended as far east from the basin as La Noria Court.

McFarland said the outage was unrelated to the earthquake, which originated about 12 miles northwest of Truckee.

PG&E’s McFarland said she was not aware of any seismic activity that took place in the area, and said the outage was the unexpected byproduct of maintenance work in the area.

“We were doing updates at Brunswick substation and that circuit came out of power,” McFarland said. “It took time to bring it back to normal.”

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at roneil@theunion.com


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