SAN JOSE -- What was supposed to be a planned power outage for electrical work Tuesday turned into an extended blackout that forced the unexpected early closure of San Jose's Happy Hollow Park and Zoo.
City officials said they opened the zoo at 10 a.m. anticipating that Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s planned outage would end at that time. But when the outage continued and it appeared it could extend through the rest of the day, officials decided to close the zoo at noon and attempt to reopen at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
"Because it was taking longer than expected, we made the decision to close the park early today," said zoo communications director Vanessa Rogier."
PG&E officials did not have an immediate explanation for the extended outage.
The outage at the zoo on Senter Road in central San Jose also affected the nearby Leininger Center at the city's Kelley Park complex. City officials reported that the Leininger Center would remain open "for informational inquiries only" until 4:30 p.m. while the Japanese Friendship Garden and History Park would remain open with restrooms available at History Park until 4:30 p.m.
Rogier said that zoo visitors were able to use the play structures and observe many of the 160 animals. But the rides including the Pacific Fruit Express roller coaster and Danny the Dragon train ride were inoperable, as were the food stands. Visitors in the park were able to use the play structure.
The animal cages have manual closures and were not affected, Rogier said. The reptiles require heat lamps during cooler months but that wasn't an issue Tuesday, she said.
"It doesn't affect much the internal operations with the animals," Rogier said. "And the blessing is that it's not really cold."
Contact John Woolfolk at 408-975-9346. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/johnwoolfolk1.