Downed Power Lines Cause First-Known Shelter-in-Place in Santa Clara on Busy Homestead Road

By Robert Haugh

Strong winds downed 11 power lines on a major section of Homestead Road on Tuesday, March 14 at approximately 2:45 p.m 

Due to the downed lines in the public roadway, residents and businesses were asked to shelter-in-place.

Residents and businesses along Homestead Road between Pepper Tree Lane and Lawrence Expressway were impacted. 

According to City spokesperson Michelle Templeton, Silicon Valley Power is not aware of any previous shelter in place situations in Santa Clara history.

“The temporary shelter in place issued today was to support traffic management and allow City crews the space and access to safely clean up debris and restore the downed power lines. All powerlines are de-energized and do not pose a public threat. Crews will be working around the clock with the goal of having debris cleared and the roadway open by tomorrow morning,” stated Templeton in an email. 

At 6:15 p.m., Santa Clara Police sent out an update that “Residents will be required to park their vehicle outside of the affected closure area – Homestead Road between Peppertree Lane and Lawrence Expressway. Police officers on site will work with residents to gain access to the area and their respective homes.”

Wind guests were estimated to reach as strong as 97MPH. Wow. 

Santa Clara Fire Department and Santa Clara Police Department barricaded the area. 

No damage to homes or businesses or injuries are reported as of yet. Several nearby schools reported having power. 

For updates, follow SiliconValley Power on Twitter or at

Silicon Valley Power urges residents not to call 9-1-1 to ask about power outages.


  1. The question here should be, Why did 11 power poles come down? The video on KTVU showed trees on the same side of Homestead still standing, but power poles were broken. The ones I saw were broken halfway up, Not like shallow rooted eucalyptus trees that topple over. High wind is a factor, but broken power poles are disturbing. It looks very much like SVP is Not inspecting their power poles. The city trims street trees for safety, it should also inspect our power poles. When were those poles last replaced or inspected?

  2. I think the city is handling the situation very well. I am proud to live in Santa Clara!
    I must have received several phone Alerts and Updates of the situation!!

  3. Perhaps it’s time to put some or most power lines underground? With storms and winds becoming stronger wouldn’t it be at least as cost effective to place them underground as to continually replace overhead lines when there’s a storm or wind?

    • Big chunks of Santa Clara have done that decades ago. That is in large part why Santa Clara power tends to be more stable than PGE power. Even more so last winter. A major power line underground near me has had only 1 or 2 issues in 25 plus years.

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