A view of downtown Oakland from the hills. Credit: Darwin BondGraham

Another winter storm is sweeping its way across the Bay Area this week, bringing high winds, cold temperatures, and even snow to some areas, including the Oakland hills. But concerns are being raised over the city of Oakland’s ability to respond to weather-related issues due to a recent ransomware attack that’s made some key services inoperable.

One system that’s experiencing a partial outage is the Oakland’s call center for reporting non-emergency requests for service, OAK311. Normally available via phone or the web, OAK311 is the main place for residents to report damage caused by weather like downed trees, flooding, and landslides. 

According to the city, the OAK311 phone system is experiencing a temporary outage. Oakland’s public information officer told The Oaklandside the outage is related to the cyberattack that has shut down many of the city’s non-emergency systems. 311 reports can still be made online, however.

Residents are being asked to report infrastructure emergencies to the Oakland Fire Department’s non-emergency line at (510) 444-3322. This includes downed trees and power lines, street signal outages, and flooding.

Phone and internet systems for East Bay Regional Park District, on the other hand, are working. The local agency is responsible for maintaining regional parks throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Dave Mason, spokesperson for the district, told The Oaklandside that they’re monitoring the weather. “We continue to encourage residents to be mindful of conditions when they’re visiting,” Mason said.

There haven’t been any serious incidents or park closures related to the most recent storm system passing over the Bay Area, though Mason encourages everyone to dress warm if they choose to brave the elements.

The National Weather Service forecast for Oakland is showers throughout the weekend with a brief sunny respite this Saturday, followed by more rain and cold temperatures next week. 

Ricky Rodas is a member of the 2020 graduating class of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining The Oaklandside, he spent two years reporting on immigrant communities in the Bay Area as a reporter for the local news sites Oakland North, Mission Local, and Richmond Confidential. Rodas, who is Salvadoran American and bilingual, is on The Oaklandside team through a partnership with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

Jose Fermoso covers road safety, transportation, and public health for The Oaklandside. His previous work covering tech and culture has appeared in publications including The Guardian, The New York Times, and One Zero. Jose was born and raised in Oakland and is the host and creator of the El Progreso podcast, a new show featuring in-depth narrative stories and interviews about and from the perspective of the Latinx community.