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Pacific Gas and Electric Company Crews Work to Restore Power After Strong Storm Hits Northern and Central California PG&E Customers Should Call 1-800-PGE-5002 to Report Outages and Get Information

Release Date: January 4, 2008
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

SAN FRANCISCO – Amid wind gusts over 70 miles per hour, Pacific Gas and Electric Company crews have been working since early Friday morning to restore power and repair damage caused by a strong Pacific storm – the first in a series forecast to hit California throughout the weekend. The storm has caused more than 1,300,000, or about 20 percent, of the utility’s electric customers to lose power since Friday morning with damages to roughly 40 miles of power lines and 105 poles. The hardest hit areas have been the coastal regions, including the North Coast, Humboldt County, Marin County, Peninsula and Santa Cruz mountains, and the Sierra Nevada region.

"Our crews are working to restore power to our customers as quickly and as safely as possible," said Mark Johnson, vice president of electric operations and engineering at Pacific Gas and Electric Company. "However, while we are making restoration progress, we continue to face challenges. The widespread impact of the storm across our service territory combined with high winds have, in certain cases, created unsafe working conditions and are limiting PG&E crew access to damaged equipment. Coupled with the additional forecast storms, this could result in new outages or extending existing outages."

PG&E crews will continue power restoration efforts throughout the day and night. As of 4:00 p.m. today, power to approximately 395,851 customers has been restored. To further increase this effort, PG&E has contracted additional crews from outside our service area.

Below are tips for customers weathering the current winter storm:

  • Treat all downed power lines as if they are “live” or carrying electric current. Do not touch or try to move it – and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines and other electric emergencies immediately by calling 911 and PG&E’s customer service line at 1-800-PGE-5002.
  • If your power goes out, turn off or even unplug all electric appliances. Otherwise, when power is restored, several appliances may come back on at once and overload your circuits or hot appliances may come on while you’re away or asleep and pose a fire hazard. Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
  • Customers should report power outages to PG&E by calling our outage information line at 1-800-PGE-5002. Customers can also call this number to receive updated information about an existing power outage in their area.
    • For more information about PG&E, including storm-related information, please visit our web site at www.pge.com

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