Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) confirmed this morning that it issued a weather “all clear” for nearly all of the areas impacted by the Oct. 29 Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS), which means winds had subsided to safe levels to allow crews to begin safety inspections of de-energized equipment, repair any wind damage, and restore power.
Kern County is expected to be “all clear” for inspections on Thursday morning (Oct. 31), given continued significant wind activity in the southern part of PG&E’s service area.
In addition, inspection and restoration work continues this morning for customers impacted by the larger Oct. 26 PSPS. The PSPS event that began Oct. 26 impacted 973,000 customers in portions of 38 counties. The more recent PSPS event on Oct. 29 impacted 516,000 customers in portions of 22 counties (includes approximately 400,000 customers from the Oct. 26 PSPS event). From the two most recent PSPS events, approximately 365,000 customers remain out of power while 723,000 customers have been restored as of 10:00 a.m.
“We very much appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to restore electric service safely and as quickly as possible. We recognize the disruption and hardship these shutoffs cause, especially when they happen in quick succession due to the current weather pattern. However, we only execute Public Safety Power Shutoffs in the interest of preventing catastrophic wildfires and protecting public safety, given the severe winds and bone-dry conditions in more and more of our communities.” said Michael Lewis, Senior Vice President for Electric Operations, PG&E.
Safety patrols and equipment repairs, which take place largely during daylight hours, are underway for impacted miles of distribution and transmission line miles. More than 6,300 personnel and 46 helicopters are deployed and supporting the restoration process. PG&E has also secured mutual assistance of approximately 1,100 electric workers from other utilities to help with inspections and repairs.
Oct. 29 PSPS Scope Decreased Due to Improving Weather
For the Oct. 29 PSPS, the number of impacted counties was decreased from original estimates, as weather conditions changed and as PG&E was able to sectionalize parts of its grid to allow for greater precision in the shutoffs. Counties that were removed from the shutoff scope were Alameda, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Siskiyou.
Community Resource Centers
PG&E will continue to operate Community Resource Centers for affected customers, providing restrooms, bottled water, ice, blankets, food, electronic-device charging and air-conditioned seating for up to 100. Centers will remain open during daylight hours, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., until power has been restored in those areas. Locations and status of these centers are listed at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
Emergency Preparedness Tips
PG&E does not currently expect another wind event in the next seven days. All customers are encouraged to use this time to restock their emergency kits with supplies that were depleted during the recent power shutoffs. Find preparedness tips at www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com.
Customers are encouraged to update or provide their contact information by calling 1-866-743-6589 during business hours if they have not already done so. 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.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com and www.pge.com/news.