Regional News

Safety shutoff starts: About 185,000 PG&E customers in Bay Area without power

KCBA News
October 9, 2019 10:51 am

Published 8 hours ago

Updated 4 hours ago
News
KTVU FOX 2

OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - As the first phase of power outages due to PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff starts, the number of customers affected in the San Francisco
Bay Area has rapidly increased early Wednesday morning.

About Bay Area 186,595 customers are without power as of 5:30 a.m per PG&E’s outage map.

Solano County has 31,632 customers without power, Napa County 32,780, Sonoma County 67,289, Marin County 10,202, Lake County 38,524, and Mendocino County 38,524 customers without power.

Caltrans officials said the Caldecott tunnel in the East Bay and the Lantos tunnel at Devil’s Slide in San Mateo County would remain open Wednesday using backup generators if needed.

PG&E officials released a statement early Wednesday citing forecasted winds of 60-70 mph at higher elevations from Wednesday morning
until Thursday morning for the start of the shut downs.

According to the National Weather Service, which issued a Red Flag Warning on Tuesday morning from Wednesday morning until 5 a.m. Tuesday,
locations above 4,000 feet are the most likely so see wind speeds above 60 mph.

PG&E officials didn’t provide an exact number of total outages, and referred to its website outage map for up-to-date numbers and locations
of customers without power.

Phase No. 1 of the shutdown encompasses the shutdown of power to approximately 513,000 customers in several Northern California counties.

Phase No. 2 is expected to start around 12 p.m. Wednesday and is expected to affect 234,000 more PG&E customers, including those in the more
immediate Bay Area, including Oakland and San Jose.

Below is a map of the outages projected in the Bay Area Wednesday.

 

A third phase is being considered for the southernmost portions of PG&E’s service area, impacting approximately 42,000 customers. Specific locations are still to be determined.

The decision to turn off power was based on forecasts of dry, hot and windy weather including potential fire risk. Based on the latest weather forecasts and models, PG&E anticipates that this weather event will last through midday Thursday, with peak winds forecasted from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning and reaching 60 to 70 mph at higher elevations.

“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility, which is why PG&E has decided to turn power off to customers during this widespread, severe wind event. We understand the effects this event will have on our customers and appreciate the public’s patience as we do what is necessary to keep our communities safe and reduce the risk of wildfire,” said Michael Lewis, PG&E’s senior vice president of Electric Operations.

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