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With Dry Offshore Winds Again in Forecast, PG&E Might Need to Proactively Turn Off Power for Safety to About 29,000 Customers Starting Early Thursday

PG&E Sending Two-Day Notices to Alert Customers in Small, Targeted Portions of 19 Counties Who Might Be Affected by Potential Public Safety Power Shutoff; PG&E Meteorologists Continue to Monitor Dynamic Weather Conditions to Determine Scope of Potential Second Event this Week After Monday's PSPS

Release Date: October 12, 2021
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

All Customers Affected by Monday PSPS Expected to be Restored by Late Tonight

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) meteorologists continue to monitor a potential weather system that could bring dry offshore winds to parts of Northern and Central California beginning in the early morning hours Thursday—the second such wind event this week.

Given this wind event, combined with extreme to exceptional drought and extremely dry vegetation, PG&E is sending two-day advance notifications to approximately 29,000 customers in small, targeted portions of 19 counties and four tribes where PG&E may need to implement a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) to reduce the risk of wildfire from energized power lines.

Customer notifications—via text, email and automated phone call—began today, two days prior to the potential shutoff. Customers can also look up their address online to find out if their location is being monitored for the potential safety shutoff at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.

Also today, PG&E continued patrolling lines de-energized during Monday's PSPS event and restoring power. All of the approximately 24,000 customers by this first event are expected to be restored by late tonight.

During a PSPS, PG&E offers support to customers by opening Community Resource Centers with snacks, water, and other essential items; partnering with community-based organizations to assist customers with medical and independent living needs; and continuing to update our customers on power restoration status. Details about customer support programs are available at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.


Potentially Affected Counties

Potentially affected customers by county are as follows:

  • Butte County: 2163 customers, 176 Medical Baseline customers
  • Colusa County: 553 customers, 38 Medical Baseline customers
  • Contra Costa County: 293 customers, 22 Medical Baseline customers
  • Glenn County: 377 customers, 22 Medical Baseline customers
  • Kern County: 651 customers, 34 Medical Baseline customers
  • Lake County: 1774 customers, 116 Medical Baseline customers
  • Napa County: 3750 customers, 157 Medical Baseline customers
  • Plumas County: 646 customers, 22 Medical Baseline customers
  • San Luis Obispo County: 1488 customers, 39 Medical Baseline customers
  • Santa Barbara County: 209 customers, 7 Medical Baseline customers
  • Shasta County: 7962 customers, 685 Medical Baseline customers
  • Sierra County: 976 customers, 31 Medical Baseline customers
  • Solano County: 1591 customers, 123 Medical Baseline customers
  • Sonoma County: 1481 customers, 52 Medical Baseline customers
  • Stanislaus County: 30 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
  • Tehama County: 1986 customers, 161 Medical Baseline customers
  • Trinity County: 59 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
  • Yolo County: 405 customers, 13 Medical Baseline customers
  • Yuba County: 2523 customers, 229 Medical Baseline customers

Approximately 70 total customers are potentially in scope in the tribal areas of Grindstone Rancheria, Mooretown Rancheria, Pitt River Tribes, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

If customers enrolled in the company's Medical Baseline program do not verify that they have received these important safety communications, PG&E employees will attempt to make individual, in person visits when possible with a primary focus on customers who rely on electricity for critical life-sustaining equipment.

With the potential PSPS event two days away, conditions may change. PG&E's in-house meteorologists, as well as its Wildfire Safety Operations Center and Emergency Operations Center, continue to closely monitor conditions. PG&E will share additional customer notifications as conditions evolve.


Public Safety Power Shutoffs: What PG&E Customers Should Know

Why PG&E Calls a PSPS Event

PG&E initiates PSPS when the weather forecast calls for such severe weather that people's safety, lives, homes, and businesses may be in danger of wildfires.

As each weather situation is unique, PG&E carefully reviews 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.

This year, PG&E's decision-making process is evolving to also account for the presence of trees tall enough to strike power lines when determining if a PSPS event is necessary. Every wildfire season is different, and the ongoing drought and the conditions will determine the number of times PG&E will need to shut off power, without compromising safety.

This set of criteria is a first step that may lead to further analysis from PG&E's meteorology team to determine if a PSPS event is necessary.


Where to Learn More

  • PG&E's emergency website (www.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 http://www.pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-800-743-5000, 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 www.pge.com/pspszipcodealerts.

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 events 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 events
  • 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 a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.

 

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