UPDATE: PG&E May Need to Proactively Turn Off Power for Safety Beginning Early Monday Morning in Targeted Portions of 22 Counties, Scope of Event Reduced to Less Than One-Half of One Percent of All PG&E Customers
PG&E is Sending One-Day Notifications to About 25,000 Customers; Minimal Impact to Bay Area Expected
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.— Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) continues to monitor a dry offshore wind event impacting the Northern and Central portions of PG&E’s service area. As a result of this wind event, combined with extreme to exceptional drought conditions and extremely dry vegetation, PG&E began sending one-day advance notifications Sunday morning to customers in areas where PG&E may need to proactively turn off power for safety to reduce the risk of wildfire from energized power lines.
PG&E issued these “PSPS Watch” notifications for approximately 25,000 customers in very targeted portions of 22 counties. The scope has been reduced from the 44,000 customers in 32 counties initially announced on Saturday. This potential PSPS event is expected to be focused within the Northern Sierra Foothills, North Bay and North Coast regions with minimal impact to Bay Area and Central Valley customers.
Since Friday, PG&E meteorologists have been tracking the weather system, which is expected to start Sunday night and bring wind gusts of up to 50 mph by Monday morning. The potential PSPS event is still about 18 hours away. PG&E’s in-house meteorologists, its Wildfire Safety Operations Center and its Emergency Operations Center continue to monitor conditions closely.
Customer notifications via text, email and automated phone call began Saturday, two days prior to the potential shutoff. PG&E employees will pay individual, in-person visits when possible to customers enrolled in the company’s Medical Baseline program who do not verify that they have received these important safety communications, with a primary focus on customers who rely on electricity for critical life-sustaining equipment.
Potentially Affected Counties
Customers can look up their address at www.pge.com/pspsupdates to see if PG&E is monitoring their location for the potential safety shutoff.
The potential shutoff is expected to affect approximately 25,000 customers in these counties:
• Alameda: 134 customers, 10 Medical Baseline customers
• Butte: 1,342 customers, 98 Medical Baseline customers
• Colusa: 566 customers, 39 Medical Baseline customers
• Contra Costa: 597 customers, 40 Medical Baseline customers
• Fresno: 189 customers, 6 Medical Baseline customers
• Glenn: 376 customers, 22 Medical Baseline customers
• Kern: 633 customers, 34 Medical Baseline customers
• Kings: 10 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
• Lake: 4,008 customers, 304 Medical Baseline customers
• Merced: 14 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
• Monterey: 854 customers, 27 Medical Baseline customers
• Napa: 2,428 customers, 113 Medical Baseline customers
• Plumas: 309 customers, 4 Medical Baseline customers
• San Benito: 84 customers, 2 Medical Baseline customers
• San Luis Obispo: 223 customers, 4 Medical Baseline customers
• Santa Barbara: 27 customers, 2 Medical Baseline customer
• Shasta: 2,336 customers, 172 Medical Baseline customers
• Solano: 4,561 customers, 423 Medical Baseline customers
• Sonoma: 87 customers, 1 Medical Baseline customer
• Stanislaus: 30 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
• Tehama: 5,342 customers, 498 Medical Baseline customers
• Yolo: 515 customers, 16 Medical Baseline customers
Potential affected tribal areas:
• Cortina Rancheria: 8 customers, 1 Medical Baseline customer
• Grindstone Rancheria: 50 customers, 4 Medical Baseline customers
• Middletown Rancheria: 34 customers, 1 Medical Baseline customer
• Mooretown Rancheria: 1 customer, 0 Medical Baseline customer
• Pit River Tribes: 8 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
How Customers Can Prepare
• Use a cell phone or hard-wired phone. Cordless phones do not work without electricity.
• Use battery-operated flashlights, not candles, which may pose a fire hazard.
• Unplug or turn off all electric and heat-producing appliances (e.g., air conditioners, washers and dryers, ovens, stoves, irons) to avoid overloading circuits. Overloaded circuits can be a fire hazard once power is restored.
• Unplug televisions and computers that were in use when the power went out.
• Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns.
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed, and place extra containers of ice inside to preserve food. A full freezer will remain colder longer.
• Notify your alarm company if you have an alarm system. Equipment can be affected by outages.
• Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
• Reset clocks, thermostats and other programmed equipment after power is restored.
Backup power can be a vital part of any emergency preparedness plan in the event of a power outage. PG&E’s residential and business customers can review key considerations, safety tips, financing and retailer information by visiting pge.com/backuppower.
PG&E’s Commitment to Wildfire Safety
PG&E’s multi-faceted Community Wildfire Safety Program includes both immediate and long-term action plans to further reduce wildfire risk and keep its customers and communities safe.
Since 2018, PG&E’s wildfire safety work has resulted in:
• Multiple inspections of distribution, transmission, and substation equipment in high fire-threat areas
• Hardening more than 600 miles with stronger lines and poles to better withstand severe weather
• Conducting enhanced vegetation safety work on nearly 5,000-line miles in high fire-threat areas (this is in addition to the more than 5 million trees that PG&E has trimmed or removed as part of its routine vegetation management and tree mortality efforts)
• Installing more than 1,000 sectionalizing devices and switches that limit the size of PSPS outages that are necessary to mitigate the risk of wildfires
• Installing more than 1,150 advanced weather stations to help PG&E gather more data and information to better predict and respond to extreme weather threats
• Installing more than 400 high-definition cameras to monitor and respond to wildfires
• Reserving more than 65 helicopters to quickly restore power after severe weather during PSPS outages
• Monitoring wildfire threats in real-time through a dedicated team at PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Operations Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day during wildfire season
Ongoing PG&E Wildfire Mitigation and Resiliency Efforts
PG&E’s ongoing safety work to enhance grid resilience and address the growing threat of severe weather and wildfires continues on a risk-based and data-driven basis, as outlined in its 2021 Wildfire Mitigation Plan.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.pge.com and pge.com/news.