Update: PG&E has postponed the power shutoff for Contra Costa County until 8 p.m.
Contra Costa County is preparing to respond to the impacts of a possible power shutoff conducted by PG&E. The agency informed County officials that Contra Costa County is under a “Public Safety Shutoff Watch,” and current weather conditions may lead to a de-energization event starting tonight, as early as 12 noon on Wednesday, October 9.
PG&E estimates that 40,000 customers in Contra Costa County could lose power. The potential shutdown is expected to affect large parts of the County, including Concord, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Pinole, Richmond, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek. Residents in those areas should prepare for the possibility of losing power from 12 noon Wednesday, October 9, through Thursday, October 10, at 12:00 noon. PG&E expects to start restoring power on Thursday, October 10. PG&E notes that Contra Costa County is one of 29 counties in the state that may undergo a Public Safety Power Shutoff. The agency says that complete restoration of power may take one to five days.
PG&E states that their 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.
Severe dry winds causing danger
“This is shaping up to be one of the most severe dry wind events we’ve seen in our territory in recent years and we want our customers to be prepared for an extended outage that may last several days. Our meteorological and operations teams continue to actively monitor the weather and this evolving situation, and we are working directly with state and local agencies to help prepare our customers and the public for this safety event,” said Michael Lewis, Senior Vice President, PG&E Electric Operations.
Contra Costa County is working to ensure that the public is aware of this possible PG&E power shutoff event. In an abundance of caution, the County is also working to ensure we are ready with our own internal operation and response to this potential event.
“Our staff has been diligently planning to adequately respond to the effects of this event,” said Board Chair, Supervisor John Gioia. “However, we want to remind our residents that the decision to turn off the power and the speed at which it is restored is planned and managed solely by PG&E.”
“Preparation is key. Residents should plan ahead for their family’s needs,” said Susan Shiu, the County’s Director of Communications and Media. “We encourage residents to check pge.com for the latest updates. Visit the County’s website www.contracosta.ca.gov for alert information, which includes a map of the areas likely to be impacted and ways to prepare now.”
How to prepare for power shutoff
- 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 Public Safety Power Shutoff.
- 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 family members who are elderly, younger children and pets. Information and tips including a safety plan checklist are available at pge.com/wildfiresafety.
You can go to Contra Costa County’s Safety & Emergency Info webpage for ways to prepare before, during and after a power outage. Check www.pge.com to register for wildfire alerts and for customer updates.