PG&E has announced that the Public Safety Power Shutoff that was scheduled for earlier today in several counties, including Contra Costa, has now been postponed until 8 p.m. tonight, Wed. Oct. 9. Severe winds that were expected to develop this morning, have not been as strong as anticipated.
According to PG&E, PSPS is part of a larger effort to help reduce wildfire risks. Given the continued and growing threat of extreme weather and wildfires, and as an additional precautionary measure following the 2017 and 2018 wildfires, PG&E expanded their Community Wildfire Safety Program for 2019.
Efforts include enhanced vegetation management around power lines, conducting accelerated safety inspections of electric infrastructure in high fire-threat areas, and hardening of the electric system.
Because of the high fire dangers, they have expanded their Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program to include all electric lines that pass through high fire-threat areas – both distribution and transmission. Factors that PG&E considers when deciding to initiate a Public Safety Power Shutoff included strong winds, very low humidity levels, critically dry vegetation and on-the-ground observations by their crews.
Many residents already without power
513,000 customers were part of the first phase of this PSPS. Those customers have already been deenergized. They’re 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.
About 21,000 customers in Calaveras and 800 in Mendocino were not part of the first phase and will be deenergized during the second phase coming later today.
Phase 2 includes Contra Costa County
Shutoffs for the second phase of counties, initially scheduled to start around noon on Wednesday, have been delayed until 8 p.m. Wednesday evening, because of changes to the weather forecast. Those counties are: Alameda, Alpine, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Mariposa, Mendocino, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus and Toulomne.
“We understand the impact turning off the power for safety has on customers, we don’t take this action lightly,” said Tamar Sarkissian, PG&E Spokesperson. “We thank our customers for their patience during this significant wind event.”
Community Resource Centers
To support customers in the affected areas, PG&E will open Community Resource Centers in several locations beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday. 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.
The East Bay centers will be opened at the following locations:
|Contra Costa||San Ramon||Bishop Ranch Parking Lot – 2600 Camino Ramon, San Ramon 94583|
|Alameda||Oakland||Merritt College LOT B – Leona St., Oakland 94508|
For safety tips regarding the shut off, you can go to: www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com