According to an email message from Tamar Sarkissian, media representative, for PG&E’s East Bay Public Affairs Team received by the Herald at 5:55 p.m., Tuesday evening, there will be 40,219 customers affected by the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in the following communities in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties: Antioch, Pittsburg, San Ramon, Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Pinole, Richmond, Kensington, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Canyon, San Pablo, Rodeo, Concord, Martinez, and Berkeley and Albany.
The PSPS will begin at Midnight tonight (Tuesday/Wednesday) and last until noon on Thursday. However, it could take up to five days for the power to be restored.
Sarkissian also provided the following press release:
PG&E Will Proactively Turn Off Power for Safety to Nearly 800,000 Customers Across Northern and Central California
Portions of 34 Counties Will be Impacted by Widespread, Severe Wind Event Beginning Wednesday; New Counties Added Since Monday: Marin, Humboldt, Trinity and Kern
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – As a precautionary measure to reduce wildfire risk during the forecasted severe wind event, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) confirmed that it will implement a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in portions of 34 northern, central and coastal counties, affecting electric service for nearly 800,000 customers.
PG&E expects to begin turning off power in some areas early Wednesday, just after midnight. The power will be turned off to communities in stages, depending on local timing of the severe wind conditions, beginning with counties in the northern part of the state.
“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility, which is why PG&E has decided to turn power off to customers during this widespread, severe wind event. We understand the effects this event will have on our customers and appreciate the public’s patience as we do what is necessary to keep our communities safe and reduce the risk of wildfire,” said Michael Lewis, PG&E’s senior vice president of Electric Operations.
Customer notifications and impact
The company has been notifying potentially impacted customers and will continue to do so, via automated calls, texts and emails. However, customers not impacted by the PSPS may experience power outages due to PG&E equipment damaged during this major wind event; those customers will not be notified in advance.
It is 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.
Portions of Kern, Humboldt, Trinity and Marin counties have been added to the potential scope of this PSPS, in addition to the 30 counties identified Monday. Customers can find the full list of impacted counties, cities and communities at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
Estimated time of restoration 2
Overall, based on the latest weather forecasts and models, PG&E anticipates that this weather event will last through midday Thursday, with peak winds forecasted from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning and reaching 40 to 55 mph, with isolated gusts up to 60 to 70 mph.
Before restoring power, PG&E must inspect its equipment for damage and make any necessary repairs. That process cannot begin until the severe weather event has subsided.
Given the prolonged period during which the wind event will unfold, and the large number of power line miles that will need to be inspected before restoration, customers are being asked to prepare for an extended outage.
PG&E will work with state and local agencies to provide updated restoration timelines following the conclusion of the severe weather event.
Community Resource Centers
To support customers in the affected areas, PG&E will open Community Resource Centers in several locations beginning on Wednesday, October 9, at 8 a.m. The centers will remain open during daylight hours only. Restrooms, bottled water, electronic-device charging and air-conditioned seating for up to 100 will be available at these facilities.
Centers will be opened at the locations below:
|Contra Costa||San Ramon||Bishop Ranch Parking Lot – 2600 Camino Ramon, San Ramon 94583|
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 during normal business hours. 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 7-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.