Second Phase of Shutoffs Has Begun for 234,000 Customers in Sierra Foothills and Bay Area
Improving Weather Means Safety Inspections in Some Areas of Humboldt Have Started
Potential Customer Impacts in Kern County Reduced from 43,000 to Approximately 4,000
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is sharing important updates related to the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) that has been implemented across portions of its service area as a precautionary measure to reduce the risk of wildfire during a widespread, severe wind event impacting its service area.
“In the East Bay, South Bay and Santa Cruz counties, shutoffs have begun and we will continue deenergizing through midnight tonight,” Katy Hernandez of PG&E’s Marketing and Communications shared.
The latest updates include:
- PG&E has now restored power to approximately 50,000 customers in the Sierra Foothills since the shutoff began.
- Improving weather means patrols in some areas of Humboldt County have started. PG&E anticipates being able to restore power to 60,000 to 80,000 customers tonight or early Thursday morning. Patrols take place during daytime hours and will resume at daybreak.
- The second phase of the PSPS event began this afternoon and will to continue into the evening. Approximately 234,000 customers will be impacted during this phase in the following counties: Alameda, Alpine, Contra Costa, Mariposa, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne. Outages are expected to happen in two waves, with the East Bay, South Bay and Santa Cruz counties being impacted later tonight.
- The first phase of shutoffs impacted approximately 513,000 customers in the following counties: Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba counties. Some additional customers in Calaveras and Mendocino were included in the second phase.
- A third phase is being considered for portions of Kern County. Due to changing weather forecasts, PG&E now expects this event to impact approximately 4,000 customers. Earlier forecasts predicted impacts to 43,000 customers.
Additional resources are poised to support the restoration process, including 45 helicopters and more than 6,300 on-the-ground field personnel. Inspections, repairs and restoration can begin once the weather event has passed and it is safe to do so. PG&E expects that the weather to subside around midday Thursday in the Sierra Foothills and the Bay Area/Santa Cruz. Weather conditions in the Kern/Bakersfield area are forecasted to improve into midday Friday.
The decision to turn off power was based on forecasts of dry, windy weather including potential fire risk.
“We understand that this power shutoff is difficult for our customers and communities. Please check on your neighbors, friends and family and know that we will work safely, and quickly as possible, to restore power across the region,” said Sumeet Singh, vice president, PG&E Community Wildfire Safety Program. “Our meteorological and operations teams are actively monitoring the weather and this evolving situation, and we are working directly with state and local agencies to help our customers and communities through this event safely.
Check PG&E’s new website for power shutoff area map.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.