Impacts Will Include Customers in Parts of 38 Counties in Northern and Central California
Historic Wind Event Will Affect 940,000 Customers and Last Through Monday
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has begun de-energization of its electrical lines as part of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). The PSPS event will impact customers in portions of 38 counties in the Northern and Southern Sierra Foothills, the North Bay and Mendocino, the Bay Area, the Central Coast and the Central Valley. This PSPS action is based on forecasts of historic dry, hot and windy weather that poses a significant risk for damage and sparks on the electric system and rapid wildfire spread.
The shutoff is expected to impact approximately 940,000 customers in 38 counties: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba.
Based on the latest weather forecast, the PSPS area has been expanded to include portions of Fresno and Madera Counties, additional customers in Mariposa County and Yosemite National Park.
For a list of impacted customer counts and cities per county, see www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
Timeline for safety shutoffs
The times below are estimates and may change (earlier or later) dependent on the dynamic weather environment. Times below as of 7:00pm on October 26, 2019.
Forecasts indicate the peak period of winds should occur beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday through midday on Monday, October 28.
Once the high winds subside, PG&E will inspect the de-energized lines to ensure they were not damaged during the wind event, and then restore power. PG&E will safely restore power in stages as quickly as possible, with the goal of restoring the vast majority of customers within 48 hours after the weather has passed.
Customer notifications and impact
When possible, the company notifies potentially impacted customers at 48 hours, 24 hours and again just prior to the power shutoff. We will continue to notify, via automated calls, texts and emails—for those customers who’ve provided their contact information to PG&E. As forecasted weather conditions changed, additional customers were added to the notification outreach.
It’s important to remember that customers not impacted by the PSPS may experience power outages due to PG&E equipment damaged during this strong and long-lasting wind event; those customers will not be notified in advance.
It is also very possible that customers may be affected by a power shutoff even though they are not experiencing extreme weather conditions in their specific location. This is because the electric system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions.
Community Resource Centers
To support customers in the affected areas, PG&E is opening Community Resource Centers in at least 71 locations. Restrooms, bottled water, electronic-device charging and air-conditioned seating for up to 100 will be available at these facilities. Locations are below, and more are being confirmed. View the most updated list of center locations at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
Selected centers will begin opening at 2 p.m., Saturday, October 26, and will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. beginning on Sunday, October 27. To view the current list, click here.
How customers can prepare
As part of PSPS preparedness efforts, PG&E is asking customers to:
· Update their contact information at pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-866-743- 6589. PG&E will use this information to alert customers through automated calls, texts, and emails, when possible, prior to, and during, a PSPS.
· Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
· Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.
· Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
· Keep in mind elderly family members, younger children and pets. Information and tips including a safety plan checklist are available at pge.com/psps.
· Continue to monitor PG&E’s new weather forecasting web page at pge.com/weather which is a dedicated page with weather forecasting information and a daily seven-day PSPS lookahead.
Backup electric generators can be a part of any preparedness plan, but they can also pose unique safety hazards. It’s important to understand how to safely operate your generator before an emergency occurs. This means doing regular safety checks and being sure you have enough fuel to last a few days. If you don’t understand how to use your generator, you risk damaging your property, endangering your life and endangering the lives of others. Position your generator where its exhaust can vent safely to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal. Never run a portable generator in the garage or in the rain, and never store generator fuel in the house. Additional tips on the safe use of generators can be found at PG&E’s Safety Action Center at www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com.
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 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visitwww.pge.com and www.pge.com/news.