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Thousands lose power in Sonoma County outages

Electricity is fully restored after thousands of homes and businesses in the Healdsburg, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa and Windsor areas lost power in two major outages Monday morning.|

Electricity is fully restored after thousands of homes and businesses in the Healdsburg, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa and Windsor areas lost power in two major outages Monday morning, according to Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

The first outage began at 6:51 a.m. for 6,408 PG&E customers in and around Windsor, according to the utility. Those customers stretched from the intersection of Fulton and River roads just north of Santa Rosa up to Highway 128 east of Healdsburg.

Power was restored for more than half of those customers shortly after 10:30 a.m., but the cause of the outage remained unclear, according to PG&E spokesperson Deanna Contreras.

By 5:30 p.m., 855 customers were still in the dark. Full restoration was confirmed just after 6 p.m., said Contreras, who added the outage was blamed on equipment failure.

The second outage began at 9:26 a.m. for 1,161 PG&E customers east of Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park. It was resolved at about 11 a.m.

The outage was caused by a bird hitting a power line that is set up to automatically shut off when something comes into contact with it, according to Contreras.

A bird was found dead in the area of the line near Snyder Lane and Petaluma Hill Road, Contreras said.

That power line shuts off as part of PG&Eā€™s Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings program, which began last year for areas deemed high risk for wildfires.

PG&E has called the program a success in preventing wildfires, but residents have complained that it has resulted in more frequent outages.

You can reach Staff Writer Matt Pera at matthew.pera@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @Matt__Pera.

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