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PG&E Continues to Closely Monitor Weather Conditions Ahead of Possible Public Safety Power Shutoff in Parts of Eight Counties

Release Date: November 07, 2018
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) continues to closely monitor weather conditions in its service area ahead of a possible Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). Although no final decision has been made as of 10:00 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, PG&E may need to turn off power for safety reasons to approximately 63,000 customers in the early morning of Thursday, Nov. 8.

Localized extreme weather calling for sustained winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour, with gusts of 40 to 45 miles per hour, are forecasted overnight Wednesday into Thursday for parts of eight Northern California counties. Sonoma County is no longer expected to be impacted by a potential PSPS. 

Customers and communities who have been notified of a potential power shutoff should be prepared. They should also be aware that their power may be turned off during the night while they are asleep, and it may still be off when they wake up Thursday morning.

If PG&E does shut off power for safety during the overnight hours, it will send automated calls and texts to customers early Thursday morning.

The period of extreme weather is expected to occur during the daytime, and could last until late Thursday afternoon, which may limit crews’ ability to begin air patrols and inspections of our infrastructure. These inspections must occur before restoration work can begin.

"The safety of our customers and communities is always our highest priority. We expect to make a decision about turning off power to any customers approximately two to three hours before extreme weather is forecasted to arrive in our service territory. In the meantime, we are closely monitoring weather conditions. We're also preparing to conduct required safety inspections of our electric equipment after a possible shutoff event by staging 750 crew members and 24 helicopters in place so that power may be restored safely and as quickly as possible," said Kevin Dasso, Vice President of Electric Asset Management.

Factors that PG&E considers when deciding to initiate a Public Safety Power Shutoff include strong winds, very low humidity levels, critically dry vegetation and on-the-ground observations.

Due to forecasted high winds and dry vegetation, PG&E may temporarily turn off power in portions of the following communities:

  • Butte County (approximately 26,500 customers in cities including Berry Creek, Chico, Forest Ranch, Magalia, Oroville, Paradise)
  • Lake County (approximately 6,800 customers in cities including Clearlake Oaks, Cobb, Hidden Valley Lake, Kelseyville, Middletown)
  • Napa County (approximately 2,600 customers in cities including Angwin, Pope Valley, St. Helena)
  • Nevada County (approximately 18,500 customers in cities including Grass Valley, Nevada City, North San Juan)
  • Placer County (approximately 5,500 customers in cities including Colfax, Foresthill, Alta)
  • Plumas County (approximately 350 customers in cities including La Porte)
  • Sierra County (approximately 1,200 customers in cities including Downieville, Sierra City)
  • Yuba County (approximately 1,900 customers in cities including Brownsville, Dobbins, Camptonville)

Power can only be restored following a PSPS event after visual safety inspections of all impacted power lines, poles and towers are made during daylight hours. Because current weather forecasts predict extreme weather could last until late Thursday afternoon, PG&E crews may only get a few hours of daylight on Thursday to begin inspections. Inspections will resume at first light on Friday, and power will be restored as soon as each inspection is completed. 

PG&E currently estimates that this PSPS event may impact 3,100 miles of our electric grid. To add context, that’s the same distance as driving from San Francisco to Boston.

Customers can receive ongoing PSPS notifications by making sure their contact information is up-to-date by visiting pge.com/mywildfirealerts, or by calling 1-866-743-6589 during normal business hours. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 9-1-1.

Customers can learn whether their home or business is in or near a high fire-threat area by reviewing the California Public Utilities Commission's High Fire-Threat District map. For more information on how to prepare, customers should visit pge.com/wildfiresafety or call 1-800-PGE-5002 (1-800-743-5002). They can also visit pge.com/wildfiresafety to determine whether their home or business is served by an electric line that may be turned off for safety.

About PG&E
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 nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.

 

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