A downed power line cut electricity to more than 1,000 Santa Rosa households on Thursday morning and shut down traffic lights at one of the city's busiest intersections, causing massive backups, PG&E and police said.

A total 1,343 customers were initially without power after the line came down near Farmers Lane and Fourth Street around 8:30 a.m., PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris said.

More than 250 were still without power at 11 a.m. and were not expected to have power restored until about 5 p.m., she said.

Initial reports indicated the outage was caused by a bird who blew out a power line at Alice Street and Sunridge Drive behind the Flamingo Hotel, cutting power to folks from Sonoma Avenue to Brush Creek Road and to Chanate Road, Morris said.

Motorists subsequently reported a mess at Farmers Lane and Fourth Street, a busy and difficult intersection in any case.

Police Traffic Sgt. Brad Conners needed to treat the intersection as if each direction had stop signs. Police were arranging to set up temporary stop signs while the lights were out, he said.