Electricity gremlins had a fine April Fools' Day on Monday, knocking out power twice to thousands of Monterey Peninsula customers for hours at a time.

The first outage affected about 3,500 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers in the Highway 68 corridor. It started just before 11 a.m. and lasted 2½ hours before power was completely restored.

PG&E spokesman Denny Boyles said the cause was "a problem with underground equipment."

The second outage caused lights to flicker and go dark about 3 p.m., as electricity went out for about 4,400 customers from Carmel to Ryan Ranch in Monterey.

Boyles said it could be 5:45 p.m. before power was restored, though some service was restored shortly before 4 p.m.

Boyles said there was no indication what caused the second outage, though it could have been related to the first one. Sometimes as power comes back on, it can cause other problems in the affected circuits, he said.



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