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Pacific Gas and Electric Company Restores Power to 99 Percent of Customers Affected by Winter Storms More than 700 Utility Crews Continue Working Around the Clock to Restore Service

Release Date: January 9, 2008
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

ale-force winds starting Friday morning.

Most customers who remain without power are located in relatively remote areas of the North Coast, Sierra Nevada, and Central Coast regions. Several counties within these storm-ravaged areas have declared states of emergency.

Only two percent of customers who lost service suffered without power for more than 72 hours. To restore service as fast and safely as possible, PG&E mobilized more than 600 of its own crews and more than 100 mutual aid and contract crews from as far as Kansas. PG&E continues to give priority to restoring service to critical facilities such as hospitals and schools, and to customers who have been without power the longest.

"We're proud that our crews restored service in less than 48 hours to 95 percent of customers who lost power during these severe storms," said Mark Johnson, vice president for electrical operations and engineering. "High winds and downed trees took out enough power lines to stretch from San Francisco to Canada. They also damaged more than 1,000 transformers and more than 800 poles, many located in areas covered in deep snow or on steep mountain slopes. We appreciate the skill and dedication of our crews in overcoming these challenges, and the patience and support of customers while we worked around the clock to restore their service."

Below are tips for customers weathering the current winter storm:

  • Treat any downed power line as if it is "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 you have a standby generator, make sure that it's installed safely and inform PG&E to avoid risking damage to your property and endangering PG&E line workers who may be working on nearby power lines.
  • Never use barbeques or charcoal indoors to heat your home in order to avoid the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • 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 and pose a fire hazard. Leave on a single lamp 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.
  • Customers in the most severely affected or remote areas should make arrangements to find a safe, warm place to stay. The Red Cross has opened shelters and warming centers in Butte, Nevada, and Yolo Counties. Customers should call 1-800-RED-CROSS for more information.
  • Residential customers without power for 48 hours or longer may be entitled to an automatic payment of $25 to $100 for their inconvenience under PG&E's SafetyNet Program. No action is required. Customers should receive these checks within 90 days after the storm ends.
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