Power Shutoffs Also Expected to Impact about 1,000 Customers in San Mateo and Kern Counties around 1:00 a.m. Thursday
PG&E’s Emergency Operations Center is Monitoring an Additional Dry, Offshore Wind Event this Weekend
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) confirmed today that it has implemented a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in 15 counties in the Sierra Foothills and North Bay—Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Sonoma, Tehama and Yuba—impacting about 178,000 customers in those areas.
Power shutoffs are planned for portions of San Mateo County, affecting about 1,000 customers, and Kern County, affecting about 30 customers, and are expected to begin around 1:00 a.m. Thursday.
In total, the current PSPS is expected to impact approximately 179,000 customers in 17 counties. It is possible that additional customers not impacted by PSPS may experience power outages due to PG&E equipment damaged during the wind event; those customers will not be notified in advance. For a list of impacted customer counts and cities per county, see www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
PG&E notified potentially impacted customers via automated calls, texts and emails—for those customers who’ve provided their contact information:
- Monday, October 21 (48 hours prior);
- Tuesday, October 22 (24 hours prior); and
- Again today (0 to 4 hours prior).
Reasons for a PSPS
The sole intent of a PSPS is to prevent a catastrophic wildfire sparked by electrical equipment during extreme weather events. This PSPS decision was based on forecasts of dry, hot and windy weather, which poses a higher risk for damage and sparks on the electric system as well as rapid wildfire spread.
It is very 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.
All-Clear, Safety Inspections and Restoration
Forecasts indicate the peak period of winds should end about noon Thursday in the Sierra Foothills, North Bay and San Mateo County, and around noon Friday in Kern County.
Once the high winds subside, PG&E crews will inspect the de-energized lines to ensure they were not damaged during the wind event. PG&E will then safely restore power in stages as quickly as possible, with the goal of restoring the vast majority of customers within 48 hours after the weather has passed.
In the area impacted by the PSPS, PG&E will need to conduct safety inspections of more than 8,000 miles of distribution lines and nearly 650 miles of transmission lines—the combined equivalent distance of two roundtrips from Chico to Chicago. Resources standing by to support the inspections and restoration include nearly 6,000 on-the-ground field personnel and 42 helicopters.
“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility, which is why PG&E has decided to turn power off to customers during this severe wind event. We understand the effects this event will have on our customers and appreciate the public’s patience as we do what is necessary to keep our communities safe and reduce the risk of wildfire,” said Michael Lewis, PG&E’s senior vice president of Electric Operations.
Monitoring and Preparing for Potential PSPS This Weekend
PG&E is also monitoring and preparing for an additional wind event starting Saturday, October 26, which may require further shutoffs. Early forecasts show that this has the potential to be widespread across PG&E’s service area in Northern and Central California with significant winds.
PG&E encourages customers currently without power to recharge phones and devices and restock emergency kits during periods of restored power. PG&E will provide more information about this potential event as it has a clearer view of the weather.
Current Community Resource Centers
To support customers in the affected areas, PG&E will open several Community Resource Centers. Restrooms, bottled water, electronic-device charging and air-conditioned seating for up to 100 will be available at these facilities. Locations are below, and more are being confirmed. View the most updated list of center locations at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
The following centers are scheduled to open at 8 a.m. Thursday and stay open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the remainder of the shutoff:
Bear Valley Transportation Center
132 Bear Valley Road
St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Parish
11361 Prospect Drive
Mace Meadows Golf Course
26570 Fairway Drive
Costco – Butte
2100 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
14144 Lakeridge Court
Bird Street School
1421 Bird Street
Meadowmont Shopping Center
2182 Highway 4
Black Bart Players
580 South Algiers Street
Buffalo Hill Center
6023 Front Street 37
Former County Sheriff's Office
300 Fair Lane
Knotty Pine Lanes
2667 Sanders Dr #1
Konocti Vista Casino
2755 Mission Rancheria Road
Twin Pine Casino & Hotel
1435 North Oak Street
Saint Helena Catholic School
1255 Oak Avenue
Sierra College – Grass Valley
250 Sierra College Drive
Penn Valley Community Church
11739 Spenceville Road
Nevada City Elks Lodge
518 State Highway 49
Gold County Fairgrounds
209 Fairgate Road
Canyon View Assembly Church
23221 Forest Hill Road
McBean Pavillion Parking Lot
75 McBean Park Drive
La Honda Fire Brigade
8945 La Honda Rd
Cloverdale Citrus Fair
1 Citrus Fair
Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building
1351 Maple Avenue
Hanna Boys Center
17000 Arnold Drive
9185 Marysville Road
Veterans of Foreign Wars post 3322
202 Spink Road
Potter Valley Bible Church
10151 Main Street
- Backup electric generators can be a part of any preparedness plan, but they can also pose unique safety hazards.
- It’s important to understand how to safely operate your generator before an emergency occurs. This means doing regular safety checks and being sure you have enough fuel to last a few days. If you don’t understand how to use your generator, you risk damaging your property, endangering your life and endangering the lives of others.
- Position your generator where its exhaust can vent safely to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal. Never run a portable generator in the garage or in the rain, and never store generator fuel in the house.
- Additional tips on the safe use of generators can be found at PG&E’s Safety Action Center at www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com and www.pge.com/news.