Small Mudslide Pushes Trees Into Power Lines in Piedmont

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Bay Area
    Trees fell into power lines at the corner of Moraga Avenue and Maxwelton Road in Piedmont, April 18, 2014

    A major street in Piedmont will remain closed until at least Friday evening because a small mudslide caused several trees to fall onto a power line, a city spokesman said.

    Piedmont City Clerk John Tulloch said the power line problem at Moraga Avenue and Maxwelton Road, which was reported shortly after 11 a.m. Friday, has forced the closure of a half-mile stretch of Moraga Avenue from the eastern city limit with Oakland and Red Rock Road, also known as Coaches Field.

    The stretch of reopened shortly before 8 p.m.

    Tulloch said Moraga Avenue is a major thoroughfare and closing it "definitely is an inconvenience" for drivers in the area.

    No one has been injured by the mudslide and no houses are threatened, a Piedmont police spokesman said.

    He said the mudslide is "a much smaller situation" than a mudslide in the same general area two years ago, in April 2012, than forced Moraga Avenue to be closed for 35 hours.

    Although it's in the same area, the mudslide Friday occurred on a different property than the mudslide two years ago, Tulloch said.

    PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian said the fallen trees caused a power outage in the area that started at 11:14 a.m. and is still continuing.

    She said the outage affected 482 customers at its peak but it now only affects 89 customers.

    Sarkissian said although the trees landed on a power line they didn't break the line.

    She said PG&E crews are now removing the trees and then will repair the power line and put it back into service.

    PG&E is trying to fix the problem as quickly as possible and hopes to restore full service by early Friday evening, Sarkissian said.

    Tulloch said after PG&E has finished its repair work, Piedmont workers will remove mud from the road and make sure the hill is safe before they would reopen Moraga Avenue.

    Tulloch said he had not confirmed the cause of the mudslide but understood it was not caused by a city or East Bay Municipal Utility District water line, and might have originated on private property.