About 3,600 PG&E customers in the Rohnert Park area, including the Graton Resort & Casino, were without power late Tuesday night after a vehicle hit a utility pole on Santa Rosa Avenue just north of town.
The power failure began at 10:53 p.m., according to PG&E spokesman J.D. Guidi, and was affecting 3,631 customers. Guidi did not have any additional information on the incident but said the utility's crews were en route to investigate the failure.
Emergency dispatchers said the power failure was caused by a vehicle that hit a utility pole near Roberts Lake Park on Santa Rosa Avenue, north of Golf Course Drive. The crash sparked a small fire, dispatchers said. The driver of the car fled on foot and had not been found as of 11:20 p.m.
Graton Resort & Casino patron Mark Spongberg of Santa Rosa said the casino became oddly quiet when the power went out just after 10:50 p.m. He said that shortly after the casino went dark, a few lights came back on but that “the main poker area is pretty dimly lit.”
Spongberg said dealers were not initially allowing customers to cash out chips while the lights were out, but at about 11:15 p.m. customers were asked to form a line so that chips could be cashed out.
Emergency dispatchers said initial reports that the casino lost power were followed by reports that lights were back on, though electricity may have been being supplied by generators.
Casino customer Tom Boag said slot machines lost power as well.