Owl Traps Dozens in Homes

Monday, Nov 30, 2009  |  Updated 11:45 AM PDT
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Owl Traps Dozens in Homes

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A shelter-in-place order for parts of Pittsburg was lifted  mid-morning Monday after it was determined that a downed high-voltage power  line no longer posed a risk to residents.

PG&E says an owl carrying a piece of metal wire struck a PG&E conductor, causing a reaction that knocked out power and sent the high-voltage line dangling down into a neighborhood.  The owl was apparently trying to build a nest.

Residents of Wedgewood Drive and nearby streets were contacted by  phone early in the morning and told to stay indoors after the 60,000-volt line came down at about 2:30 a.m.  

No injuries were reported but a shelter-in-place warning was  issued for households in the area, Sarkissian said.  

 "We just haven't been able to go outside," said Marlena Madero, a  resident of Wedgewood Drive.

Madero said her family had been receiving automated calls about  the situation since 4:30 a.m. 

"We're just kind of stuck here, we're waiting to find out when we  can go out," she said at about 10:15 a.m.

A moment later, she received another automated call saying the  shelter-in-place order had been lifted.

Judy Forrest, who lives down the street, said her family had been  watching the news to see when they could leave. 

"Nobody could get out and go to work," she said, including a  daughter who works for Wells Fargo in San Francisco.

Sarkissian said at about 10 a.m. that the power line had been  de-energized but that it continued to hang down into several backyards.  Residents of the affected homes are advised to leave through the front and to  avoid their backyards for now.

"Safety is really our top priority," Sarkissian said.

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