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UPDATE: PG&E Will Begin Turning Off Power for Safety Due to Offshore Wind Event, Affecting About 25,000 Customers In Small, Targeted Portions of 20 Counties

Safety Shutoffs Will Begin Monday, October 11 around 4 a.m. Depending on Location; Weather All Clears Anticipated as Early as Monday Evening, Allowing Power Restoration to Begin Tuesday Afternoon

Release Date: October 10, 2021
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) confirmed it will implement a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) affecting approximately 25,000 customers in very targeted portions of 20 counties. The first wave of targeted safety shutoffs will begin early Monday morning around 4 a.m. The scope of the overall event represents less than one-half of one percent of all PG&E customers

This safety shutoff is due to a dry, offshore wind event expected to start Sunday night and bring wind gusts of up to 50 mph by Monday morning. As a result of this wind event, combined with extreme to exceptional drought conditions and extremely dry vegetation, PG&E began sending advanced notifications Saturday to customers where PG&E may need to proactively turn off power for safety to reduce the risk of wildfire from energized power lines.

Timeline for Safety Shutoffs

De-Energization Start Counties/Tribes*
Oct. 11,4:00 a.m. Colusa, Glenn, Tehama, Butte, Plumas, Grindstone Rancheria, Mooretown Rancheria
Oct. 11, 5:00 a.m. Tehama, Yolo, Napa, Solano
Oct. 11, 5:30 a.m. Yolo, Colusa, Contra Costa, Alameda, Stanislaus, San Benito, Kern, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Fresno, Cortina Rancheria
Oct. 11, 6:00 a.m. Yolo, Shasta, Tehama, Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Middletown Rancheria
Oct. 11, 12:00 p.m. Kern
Oct. 11, 6:00 p.m. San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara

The times below are estimates and may change (earlier or later) dependent on the dynamic weather environment. Times below as of 6 p.m. on October 10, 2021:

*Counties/Tribes may fall into multiple de-energization times.

PG&E anticipates weather "all clears" will occur as early as Monday evening with restoration expected to begin Tuesday afternoon, with times varying based on individual locations.

Affected Counties

Customers can look up their address at www.pge.com/pspsupdates to see if PG&E is monitoring their location for the potential safety shutoff.

The potential shutoff is expected to affect approximately 25,000 customers in these counties:  

  • Alameda: 134 customers, 10 Medical Baseline customers
  • Butte: 1,342 customers, 98 Medical Baseline customers
  • Colusa: 566 customers, 39 Medical Baseline customers
  • Contra Costa: 597 customers, 40 Medical Baseline customers
  • Fresno: 189 customers, 6 Medical Baseline customers
  • Glenn: 376 customers, 22 Medical Baseline customers
  • Kern: 633 customers, 34 Medical Baseline customers
  • Lake: 4,008 customers, 304 Medical Baseline customers
  • Monterey: 854 customers, 27 Medical Baseline customers
  • Napa: 2,441 customers, 113 Medical Baseline customers
  • Plumas: 309 customers, 4 Medical Baseline customers
  • San Benito: 84 customers, 2 Medical Baseline customers
  • San Luis Obispo: 223 customers, 4 Medical Baseline customers
  • Santa Barbara: 27 customers, 2 Medical Baseline customer
  • Shasta: 2,336 customers, 172 Medical Baseline customers
  • Solano: 4,698 customers, 433 Medical Baseline customers
  • Sonoma: 87 customers, 1 Medical Baseline customer
  • Stanislaus: 30 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
  • Tehama: 5,342 customers, 498 Medical Baseline customers
  • Yolo: 515 customers, 16 Medical Baseline customers

 

The list above only includes counties with 25 or more customers impacted. There are three other counties with fewer than 25 customers impacted.

The following Tribal Communities are also expected to be impacted.

  • Cortina Rancheria: 8 customers, 1 Medical Baseline customer
  • Grindstone Rancheria: 50 customers, 4 Medical Baseline customers
  • Middletown Rancheria: 34 customers, 1 Medical Baseline customer
  • Mooretown Rancheria: 1 customer, 0 Medical Baseline customer
  • Pit River Tribes: 8 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers

 

Restoration Expected to Begin Tuesday Afternoon

PG&E will notify customers when the weather system has passed and will provide continuous updates on when to expect the power to turn back on.

Once conditions are clear, PG&E electric crews will begin patrolling in the air, in vehicles and on foot to visually check de-energized lines for hazards or damage to make sure it is safe to restore power. For this reason, inspections must occur during daylight hours. Restoration steps include:

  • Inspect: Our crews will work to visually inspect for potential weather-related damage to the lines, poles and towers.
  • Repair: Where equipment damage is found, PG&E crews work to isolate the damaged area from the rest of the system so other parts of the system can be restored.
  • Restore: Once the poles, towers and lines are safe to energize, PG&E's Control Center can complete the process and restore power to affected areas.
  • Notification: Customers are notified that power has been restored.

 

How Customers Can Prepare

  • Use a cell phone or hard-wired phone. Cordless phones do not work without electricity.
  • Use battery-operated flashlights, not candles, which may pose a fire hazard.
  • Unplug or turn off all electric and heat-producing appliances (e.g., air conditioners, washers and dryers, ovens, stoves, irons) to avoid overloading circuits. Overloaded circuits can be a fire hazard once power is restored.
  • Unplug televisions and computers that were in use when the power went out.
  • Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed, and place extra containers of ice inside to preserve food. A full freezer will remain colder longer.
  • Notify your alarm company if you have an alarm system. Equipment can be affected by outages.
  • Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
  • Reset clocks, thermostats and other programmed equipment after power is restored.

 

Generator Safety

Backup power can be a vital part of any emergency preparedness plan in the event of a power outage. PG&E's residential and business customers can review key considerations, safety tips, financing and retailer information by visiting pge.com/backuppower.

Customer Support

Monday morning, 24 Community Resource Centers (CRCs) in 14 counties will open to support customers affected by this event. View the most current list of CRCs at www.www.pge.com/pspsupdates. CRCs open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. for the remainder of the shutoff.

During a PSPS, PG&E opens CRCs where community members can access resources, including:

  • A safe location to meet their basic power needs, such as charging medical equipment and electronic devices.
  • Up-to-date information about the PSPS.
  • Water, snacks and other essential items to reduce hardships to our customers.

 

To keep our customers and communities safe, all resource centers reflect appropriate COVID-19 health considerations and federal, state and county guidelines.

Why PG&E Calls a PSPS Event

The sole purpose of a PSPS is to reduce the risk of major wildfires during severe weather. While a PSPS is an important wildfire safety tool, PG&E understands that losing power disrupts lives.

We initiate a PSPS event when the weather forecast is for such severe weather that people's safety, lives, homes and businesses may be in danger of wildfires.

As each weather situation is unique, we carefully review a combination of factors when deciding if power must be turned off. These factors include:

  • Low humidity levels, generally 30% and below.
  • A forecast of high winds, particularly sustained winds above 20 miles per hour and wind gusts above 30-40 miles per hour.
  • Condition of dry material on the ground and low moisture content of vegetation.
  • A Red Flag Warning declared by the National Weather Service.
  • Real-time ground observations from our Wildfire Safety Operations Center and from our crews working across the service territory.

 

Here's Where to Learn More

  • PG&E's emergency website (pge.com/pspsupdates) is now available in 16 languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Russian, Vietnamese, Korean, Farsi, Arabic, Hmong, Khmer, Punjabi, Japanese, Thai, Portuguese and Hindi. Customers will have the opportunity to choose their language of preference for viewing the information when visiting the website.
  • Customers are encouraged to update their contact information and indicate their preferred language for notifications by visiting pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-800-742-5000, where in-language support is available.
  • Tenants and non-account holders can sign up to receive PSPS ZIP Code Alerts for any area where you do not have a PG&E account by visiting pge.com/pspszipcodealerts.
  • At PG&E's Safety Action Center (safetyactioncenter.pge.com) customers can prepare for emergencies. By using the "Make Your Own Emergency Plan" tool and answering a few short questions, visitors to the website can compile and organize the important information needed for a personalized family emergency plan. This includes phone numbers, escape

 

PG&E's Commitment to Wildfire Safety

PG&E's multi-faceted Community Wildfire Safety Program includes both immediate and long-term action plans to further reduce wildfire risk and keep its customers and communities safe.

Since 2018, PG&E's wildfire safety work has resulted in:

  • Multiple inspections of distribution, transmission, and substation equipment in high fire-threat areas
  • Hardening more than 600 miles with stronger lines and poles to better withstand severe weather
  • Conducting enhanced vegetation safety work on nearly 5,000-line miles in high fire-threat areas (this is in addition to the more than 5 million trees that PG&E has trimmed or removed as part of its routine vegetation management and tree mortality efforts)
  • Installing more than 1,000 sectionalizing devices and switches that limit the size of PSPS outages that are necessary to mitigate the risk of wildfires
  • Installing more than 1,150 advanced weather stations to help PG&E gather more data and information to better predict and respond to extreme weather threats
  • Installing more than 400 high-definition cameras to monitor and respond to wildfires
  • Reserving more than 65 helicopters to quickly restore power after severe weather during PSPS outages
  • Monitoring wildfire threats in real-time through a dedicated team at PG&E's Wildfire Safety Operations Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day during wildfire season

 

Ongoing PG&E Wildfire Mitigation and Resiliency Efforts

PG&E's ongoing safety work to enhance grid resilience and address the growing threat of severe weather and wildfires continues on a risk-based and data-driven basis, as outlined in its 2021 Wildfire Mitigation Plan.

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 utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 23,000 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 www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.

 

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