Power outage hits downtown San Francisco

30,000 affected by one-hour shut down

A power outage in parts of downtown San Francisco yesterday affected office computers, lights and a hosting company for several Web sites.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the local utility, reported that 30,000 customers were without power as a result of an explosion under a manhole cover on Mission St., according to the Web site of the San Francisco Chronicle. The outage lasted from about 1:50 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Pacific time.

Among the businesses affected was 365 Main Inc., a Web hosting company at that San Francisco address. Among the Web sites it hosts is CraigsList.com, the popular global community Web site. An error message greeted people trying to get to CraigsList.com, although that site is back up, a CraigsList Inc. spokeswoman said. The 365 Main facility also serves Yelp.com, a user-generated review site focusing on restaurants, travel and other subjects.

The outage also darkened the offices of Computerworld's corporate parent, International Data Group Inc. The IDG facilities include the offices of PC World and Macworld.

"Some customers within the 365 Main facility were temporarily affected by the utility failure," said 365 Main spokeswoman Cynthia Harris, in an e-mail. "The building is currently 100% operational and running on backup power generators. 365 Main will continue to operate on backup generator power until PG&E can confirm that utility power is stable."

The outage affected businesses sporadically throughout the afternoon as power went off for a few minutes, came back on, and then went out again.

The power went on and off about six times over a 45-minute period beginning at about 2:00 p.m. at Paragon Restaurant and Bar near AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, said Alex Desquiron, Paragon's general manager.

Although each outage lasted no more than a minute, the restaurant had to stop cooking food because the exhaust blowers over their grills run on electricity, he said.

But business picked up. "Some people left their offices early and came in for a drink," Desquiron said.

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