Power Shutoffs

Severe Weather Forces PG&E to Keep Power Out Longer for Some

Thirty-four counties and 17 tribal areas were affected by the shutoff.

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About 250,000 PG&E customers were still without power Tuesday morning following the worst fire weather event of the season in Northern and Central California, PG&E said. 

As of the 6 p.m. briefing on Monday, about 100,000 customers have had their power restored following a Public Safety Power Shutoff that started Sunday due to high winds forecasted for the region. One gust Sunday was clocked at 89 mph on Mt. St. Helena. 

Meteorologist Kari Hall has an update on high winds still gusting in the upper elevations while valley winds are calming.

Thirty-four counties and 17 tribal areas were affected by the shutoff.

“As expected, this weather was quite extreme," PG&E's chief meteorologist Scott Strenfel said at the briefing. 

All but two counties have been given either a full or partial all-clear, which means it's safe to turn on power, PG&E's Incident Commander Mark Quinlan said. 

PG&E crews were busy Monday repairing the damage caused by windy weather in the North Bay, all while residents gear up for another windy night. Jodi Hernandez reports.

But high winds were expected again Monday night into Tuesday so many customers will likely not have power until after the winds subside Tuesday, Strenfel said. 

He said even though the winds Monday night were not expected to be as strong as on Sunday, other conditions such as dry fuels have increased the fire danger overall. 

Bay Area regions that were likely to be affected by high winds Monday night were the North Bay and East Bay. 

A sigh of relief in Contra Costa County that the wind storm was not as damaging as it could have been, but for thousands the lights are still off. About 17,000 customers have been without power since about 8 p.m. Sunday. Thom Jensen reports.

After this event, no offshore high-wind events are forecasted for the next five days, but no rain is in sight either, Strenfel said. 

This PSPS is about 200,000 customers smaller than originally anticipated. It's about 50% smaller than it would have been last year, due to variety of efforts by PG&E, such as improvements to meteorology equipment, Quinlan said. 

As power was restored to the roughly 100,000 customers Monday, crews identified 12 incidents of damage. At least one of those could have sparked a wildfire if power had been left on, Quinlan said. 

Nearly 100 customer resource centers were slated to be open Monday night until 10 p.m. for people affected by the power shutoff. 

The centers will be open again at 8 a.m. Tuesday. Customers can charge electronics, get blankets, water and snacks there. Where it's necessary, air conditioning will be on or heat. 

More information can be found at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.

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