Power tower suspected in Monterey outage

A new transmission tower that failed may have contributed to a massive power outage earlier this week in Monterey County, a PG&E spokeswoman said Friday.

The power outage, which started around 7 a.m. Sunday, affected 55,700 customers in Sand City, Seaside, Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Monterey and the surrounding area, utility spokeswoman Mayra Tostado said.

Power was restored to about half of the impacted customers by 2 p.m. Sunday and the other half by the end of the day, she said.

A transmission tower and power lines went down near PG&E’s electrical yard in Moss Landing off of state Highway 1, according to Tostado.

The tower was installed in September and went into service on Oct.

13, she said.

A preliminary analysis showed that there was a failure between the tower leg and its stub, a heavy gauge angle steel that connects the tower’s footing to its legs, according to Tostado.

PG&E hired Exponent Inc., an engineering and scientific consulting firm based in Menlo Park, to look into the cause of the outage, according to Tostado.

The firm’s investigation into the power failure is expected to be complete in the next few weeks, she said.