SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will move forward with a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) beginning Wednesday morning in portions of the Sierra Foothills, the North Bay and the North Valley.
The decision was based on weather forecasts indicating the potential for high winds and dry conditions leading to increased fire risk.
Customer Impact Reduced by 50 Percent
As of 9:00 pm, the safety shutoffs are expected to include approximately 150,000 customers in 18 counties: Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Yolo and Yuba. They are anticipated to begin as early as 6:00 a.m. Wednesday for many customers; customers in other locations may not be impacted until around 4:00 p.m. Wednesday. The expectation is that the weather will clear around mid-morning Thursday, allowing the patrol and restoration process to begin.
For a list of customer counts and cities per county, see pge.com/pspsupdates.
Customers No Longer in Scope
Customers in six other counties, originally notified that they would be part of the PSPS, were notified that they will not lose power as weather conditions have improved. Those counties no longer impacted are: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Mateo. These customers are being contacted by PG&E via text, email or automated phone call to confirm that they will not be impacted by the PSPS.
There is still considerable uncertainty regarding the strength, timing and humidity levels associated with this weather system.
Forecasts indicate the period of peak winds should end mid-morning on Thursday, Nov. 21. Once the high winds subside, PG&E will inspect the de-energized lines to ensure they were not damaged during the wind event, and then restore power.
PG&E will safely restore power in stages as quickly as possible, with the goal of restoring the most customers by end of day Thursday, based on the current weather conditions.
On PG&E’s website, the PSPS maps provide a visual representation of potentially impacted areas. The best way for customers to confirm if they will or won’t be affected by a PSPS is to use the online address lookup tool at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
Customer Notifications and Impact
The company began notifying potentially impacted customers on Monday (48 hours prior) and notified them again today, 24 hours prior, and is sending out notices again this evening to alert customers. Customers who have provided their contact information to PG&E were notified by phone, text and email.
It’s important to remember that customers not impacted by the PSPS may experience other power outages due to PG&E equipment damaged during this wind event; those customers will not be notified in advance.
It is also possible that customers may be affected by a power shutoff even though they are not experiencing extreme weather conditions in their specific location. This is because the electric system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions. Watch a video about why this happens here.
Community Resource Centers
To support customers in the affected areas, PG&E will open several Community Resource Centers (CRCs).
The Community Resource Centers will open Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. and remain open until 8:00 pm. The locations of CRCs will be available at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
The following services will be provided at our Community Resource Centers: snacks (non-perishable), ice, blankets (upon request), heating and cooling, restroom facilities and charging stations for electronic devices.
How Customers Can Prepare
PG&E is asking customers to:
• Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
• Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.
• Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
• Keep in mind family members who are elderly, younger children and pets.
• Learn more about wildfire risk and what to do before, during and after an emergency to keep your family safe at PG&E’s Safety Action Center http://www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com/.