800,000 customers will lose power in California to reduce wildfire risk

Ruben Fields
October 9, 2019

Pacific Gas and Electric says it expects to begin shutting down power in some areas starting just after Wednesday midnight.

The utility says power could be shut off in parts of almost 30 counties in central and Northern California starting Wednesday and through Thursday, when hot weather and strong winds are forecast. The affected counties are: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lake, Mariposa, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba.

PG&E released an updated statement on the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in Kern County, providing a list of additional customers that may be impacted by the shutoffs.

The problems began hours after the company announced it may cut power to almost 650,000 Northern California customers in an effort to mitigate wildfire risk, and hours before the utility increased that estimate to 800,00 customers and confirmed that the shutoff will take place. The shutoff will affect customers in parts of 34 counties.

The scope of the planned outage, extending to over half of California's 58 counties, will far exceed the very first public safety power shutoff declared by PG&E in October of past year, which impacted 60,000 customers, Sarkissian said.

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Before PG&E restores power to customers they company explained that it must inspect its equipment for damage and make any necessary repairs.

Southern California Edison's website showed Tuesday that more than 106,000 customers in parts of eight counties could face power cuts.

Talk with your doctor and plan for, medications that need refrigeration, mobility needs, and medical devices that require power. Information and tips including a safety plan checklist are available at pge.com/psps.

The power company is considering what the SF Chronicle dubs an "unprecedented move", days after a new report from the nonprofit group Next 10 and the firm Beacon Economics revealed that the 2018 wildfires were not only devastating for humans, but also for the environment. Never run a portable generator in the garage or in the rain, and never store generator fuel in the house.

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