City Hall serves as emergency shelter for residents evacuated due to downtown power outage

City Hall became an emergency shelter Tuesday night for 160 people who were evacuated from their apartments during a downtown power outage.

A fire in a SMUD substation Tuesday left much of downtown without electricity. Most of those evacuated were elderly residents from Edgewater, an apartment complex run by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency.

Daniel Bowers, director the City’s Office of Emergency Management, speaking to the media about evacuees at City Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 14.

The Sacramento Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management, Police Department and Code Enforcement worked together to conduct the evacuation.

In coordination with Regional Transit, many of these evacuees were taken to the emergency shelter at City Hall organized by the Office of Emergency Management and Youth, Parks and Community Enrichment, where their needs were triaged with support from CERT volunteers, SHRA and the American Red Cross.

“This was a true unified, coordinated effort that ensured that people were being helped at a time when they needed it the most,” said Daniel Bowers, director of the City’s Office of Emergency Management.

At City Hall, the Red Cross set up cots on the second floor for people to sleep. SHRA and the City’s Department of Community Response supplied motel rooms to those who were medically frail.

Members of Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s staff helped set up the triage and shelter areas and secured food for the evacuees. Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen delivered fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

SMUD crews worked through the night and as of Wednesday morning had restored power to 500 of the 1,300 customers affected by the outage. SMUD was providing hotel rooms for those who were still without electricity.

SMUD announced Thursday morning that it expected to have all  power restored to the downtown area by early Friday.

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