Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s Emergency Operations Center continues to monitor a dry, offshore wind event forecast to impact PG&E’s service area on Wednesday and Thursday. PG&E has crews, equipment, vehicles and aircraft on standby to conduct the shutoffs and subsequent inspections, repairs and power restoration.
The sole intent of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) is to prevent a catastrophic wildfire sparked by electrical equipment during extreme weather events.
On Monday afternoon, the company sent out 48-hour advance notifications to customers that it may be proactively turning power off for safety and conducting a PSPS as early as Wednesday afternoon. Today, the company sent out 24-hour advance notifications to those customers in the potential impact area.
The potential safety shutoff is planned for varying start times depending on location. It is expected to affect about 184,000 customers in portions of 17 counties in the Sierra Foothills and the North Bay — including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Sonoma, Tehama and Yuba — as well as Kern and San Mateo counties. Tehama County was added Tuesday night.
In some areas, PG&E has been able to reduce the scope of impact, given changing weather information and the company’s ability to sectionalize certain lines. However, as weather continues to develop, the scope may continue to change.
The 48-hour and 24-hour customer notifications were sent via text, email and automated phone calls to customers who have provided their contact information to PG&E. Customers enrolled in the company’s Medical Baseline program who do not verify that they have received these important safety communications will be individually visited by a PG&E employee when possible. A primary focus will be given to those customers who rely on electricity for critical life-sustaining equipment.
If a PSPS event is called, PG&E will stage Community Resource Centers in several locations. These centers will be open during daylight hours, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., until power has been restored. Restrooms, bottled water, electronic-device charging and air-conditioned seating for up to 100 will be available at each of these facilities.