SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) confirmed this morning its plan to move forward with a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in portions of the Sierra Foothills and North Bay, as well as small parts of San Mateo and Kern counties. This PSPS decision was based on forecasts of dry, hot and windy weather that poses a higher risk for damage and sparks on the electric system and rapid wildfire spread.
The shutoff is expected to impact approximately 179,000 customers in 17 counties: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Kern, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Mateo, Sierra, Sonoma, Tehama and Yuba.
For a list of impacted customer counts and cities per county, see www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
Timeline for safety shutoffs
Here’s the approximate timeline that customers can expect:
· The shutoffs are expected to begin around 2 p.m. in the Sierra Foothills, 3 p.m. in the North Bay counties, and approximately 1 a.m. Thursday in affected areas of San Mateo and Kern counties.
· Forecasts indicate the peak period of winds should end about noon Thursday in the Sierra Foothills, North Bay and San Mateo County, and around noon Friday in Kern County.
· 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
The company notified potentially impacted customers on Monday (48 hours prior) and again on Tuesday (24 hours prior), and will continue to notify, via automated calls, texts and emails—for those customers who’ve provided their contact information to PG&E.
It’s important to remember that customers not impacted by the PSPS may experience power outages due to PG&E equipment damaged during this 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 will open several Community Resource Centers. 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.
The following centers are scheduled to open at 8 a.m. Thursday and stay open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the remainder of the shutoff:
Bear Valley Transportation Center
132 Bear Valley Road
St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Parish
11361 Prospect Drive
Mace Meadows Golf Course
26570 Fairway Drive
Costco – Butte
2100 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
14144 Lakeridge Court
Bird Street School
1421 Bird Street
Meadowmont Shopping Center
2182 Highway 4
Black Bart Players
580 South Algiers Street
Buffalo Hill Center
6023 Front Street 37
Former County Sheriff's Office
300 Fair Lane
Knotty Pine Lanes
2667 Sanders Dr #1
Konocti Vista Casino
2755 Mission Rancheria Road
Twin Pine Casino & Hotel
Napa County Fairgrounds
1435 North Oak Street
Sierra College – Grass Valley
250 Sierra College Drive
Penn Valley Community Church
11739 Spenceville Road
Gold County Fairgrounds
209 Fairgate Road
Canyon View Assembly Church
23221 Forest Hill Road
McBean Pavillion Parking Lot
75 McBean Park Drive
Cloverdale Citrus Fair
1 Citrus Fair
Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building
1351 Maple Avenue
Hanna Boys Center
17000 Arnold Drive
9185 Marysville Road
Veterans of Foreign Wars post 3322
202 Spink Road
Potter Valley Bible Church
10151 Main Street
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 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, visit www.pge.com and www.pge.com/news.