Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews have restored essentially all customers who lost electricity following the storm that hit Northern and Central California last week. As PG&E continued to assess damage, make repairs and safely restore service to remaining customers, crews were prepared to respond to a second storm moving through Northern and Central California.
Since the start of this series of storms on on Dec. 12, PG&E has restored power to more than 350,000 customers. Through Dec. 16, power had been restored to more than 91% of customers in six hours or less. Overall, about 15,000 customers remained out of power with about 11,000 of those related to outages that occurred with the arrival of a second storm on Dec. 16.
While most customers who lost power from the first storm have been restored, heavy snow, avalanche warnings, road closures, downed trees and fallen branches, and other access issues are impeding the ability of PG&E crews to make repairs in some areas. Additionally, the storm currently moving through Northern and Central California could hinder restoration efforts, and result in additional outage activity.
The second storm was not as strong as the first, but was still expected to result in low-altitude snow across the Northern Coastal Range and Sierra Nevada areas as it moved throughout PG&E’s service area.
These winter storms damaged PG&E’s infrastructure throughout the service area, with 125 poles, 174 transformers, 866 spans of wire and 163 cross-arms needing repair or replacement. Impacts have been most consequential in the Sierra, in the Santa Cruz Mountains and other areas of the Central Coast and up north in Humboldt and Mendocino counties.
PG&E had 332 multi-person restoration crews available to make repairs and restore power. Additionally, on duty are 322 troublemen, who are the utility’s first responders to an outage, and 431 vegetation management workers who work to keep trees away from powerlines.
In all, 2154 coworkers and contract personnel had boots on the ground in response to the weather. In addition, hundreds more PG&E employees staffed emergency centers and performed other jobs related to storm response.
Keeping Customers Informed
PG&E knows the importance of keeping its customers informed. Customers can view real-time outage information on its website outage center and search by a specific address, by city or by county. This site has been updated to include in-language support for 16 languages.
Additionally, customers can sign up for outage notifications by text, email or phone. PG&E will inform customers about the cause of an outage, when crews are on their way, the estimated restoration time, and when power is restored.