Most power restored to MJC area

Power remained out for a handful of businesses near Modesto Junior College this afternoon after a vehicle backed into a power pole, according to Kate Hora, spokeswoman for the Modesto Irrigation District.

The outage affected about 650 customers, she said, and was one of two outages this morning.

The other occurred near Yosemite Avenue and South Santa Rosa Avenue, taking out power for about 45 minutes.

Power was restored within 15 minutes to residential users in the College area after the 10:45 a.m. outage, which occurred when a power pole at Princeton Avenue and Carver Road was knocked over.

However, about a half-dozen commercial users might have to wait as long as 7 p.m. before power is restored, Hora said. MID workers had to bring in a new pole, and restring the lines.

The difference in service between residential and commercial users explains why power to all users couldn’t be restored at the same time.

Hora said the Yosemite Avenue outage was caused by a typical culprit — a bird.

She said birds can perch on one line without a problem. However, sometimes when a bird spreads its wings, it can touch a second line at the same time, creating a short circuit -- and frying the bird -- when the power flows through the bird’s body from one line to another.

Other animals like squirrels and rats have been known to cause outages, along with the metallic balloons businesses use to bring attention to their stores, she said.