SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--By approximately 8 p.m. PDT today, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will have turned off power for public safety to about 24,000 customers in the Sierra foothills. The Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) affecting customers in Butte, Nevada and Yuba counties was initiated due to dry and windy conditions, with increased fire risk.
After the dry and windy weather has passed and it is safe to do so, likely on Tuesday morning, PG&E crews will work to visually inspect each mile of our power lines to ensure they are free from damage and safe to energize.
Inspections will take place during daylight hours and, in most cases, we would expect to be able to restore power within 24 to 48 hours after the dry and windy weather has passed. However, depending on weather conditions or if any repairs are needed, outages (weather event plus restoration time) could last longer than 48 hours.
For planning purposes, we suggest customers prepare for multiple-day outages.
Steps to restoration after a PSPS event include:
Weather All Clear
- After the dry and windy weather has passed and it’s safe to do so, our crews can go into the field to begin patrols and inspections.
Patrol and Inspect
- Our crews will work to visually inspect our power lines to look for potential weather-related damage to the lines, poles and towers. This is done by vehicle, foot and air.
- Visual inspections are necessary since circuit breakers, reclosing devices and fuses that are typically used to help detect any potential damage from a weather event like a winter storm are also de-energized during a Public Safety Power Shutoff for safety reasons.
- There are many challenges we face during inspections. Some locations require workers to travel on narrow access roads. In locations with no vehicle access, crews might need to hike in remote and mountainous areas to inspect equipment. And, at night, we can’t fly helicopters for visual inspections.
Isolate and Repair Damaged Equipment
- Where equipment damage is found, crews will work to isolate the damaged area from the rest of the system so other parts of the system can be restored.
- Begin restoring power to customers within the PSPS event.
PG&E continues to monitor weather conditions in the North Bay and Sierra foothills that could possibly lead to a second PSPS event on Tuesday night through Wednesday morning PSPS event. This include customers in portions of nine counties – Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sutter, Yuba, Lake, Napa and Sonoma. If a PSPS is needed, customers will be informed as soon as possible.
Customers in Butte, Nevada and Yuba counties who are affected by the Monday night shutoff may be restored for a short period on Tuesday before experiencing a second power shutoff Tuesday night should a PSPS become necessary. PG&E wants to remind those customers to use any window of re-energization to charge their electronic devices.
Late Monday Afternoon (Sept. 23) Event
This PSPS event is currently affecting about 24,000 customers in portions of three counties: Butte, Nevada and Yuba.
Customer impacts may include:
Bangor, Berry Creek, Brush Creek, Feather Falls, Forbestown, Hurleton, Oroville, Palermo, Rackerby, Yankee Hill
Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, Rough and Ready
Bangor, Browns Valley, Brownsville, Camptonville, Challenge, Dobbins, Forbestown, Loma Rica, Marysville, Oregon House, Rackerby, Smartsville
Community Resource Centers
To support customers in the potentially affected counties, PG&E will open Community Resource Centers in multiple locations on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 8 a.m. The centers will be open during daylight hours only and will provide restrooms, bottled water, electronic-device charging and air-conditioned seating for up to 100 customers each. The centers are located at:
Auburn Gold Country Fairgrounds
303 Sacramento Street
Auburn, CA 95603
Sierra College Grass Valley Campus
250 Sierra College Drive
Grass Valley, CA 95945
14144 Lakeridge Circle
Magalia, CA 95954
Harrison Stadium parking lot
Third and Mitchell avenues
Oroville, CA 95965
9185 Marysville Road
Oregon House, CA 95935
Tuesday Evening (Sept. 24) Event
PG&E’s Emergency Operations Center will be working around the clock to support the current PSPS outage and to track a similar weather event in the same general nine-county region in the Sierra foothills and the North Bay for Tuesday evening, Sept. 24.
Elevated weather conditions, including potential fire risk, are forecasted to begin around 7 p.m. Tuesday evening, Sept. 24, with peak fire risk forecasted to last until 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25.
PG&E will make a final decision on whether to initiate a second Public Safety Power Shutoff event late Tuesday morning. If a PSPS proceeds in these counties, it is anticipated to take place during the late afternoon or evening hours on Tuesday.
Once the weather subsides, and conditions are safe to do so, PG&E crews will conduct safety inspections, complete any needed repairs and begin restoration.
PG&E provided early warning notification of the Public Safety Power Shutoff and will share updates until power is restored. Out of an abundance of caution, PG&E began providing notice to customers before this safety event through automated phone calls, texts, social media and emails on Saturday, Sept. 21.
As part of these preparedness efforts, PG&E has asked customers to:
- Stay informed on the latest Public Safety Power Shutoff updates at www.pge.com/pspsupdates. Customers also can enter their address and find out if their home or business is served by an electric line that may be affected by this event.
- Update their contact information at www.pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-866-743-6589 during normal business hours. PG&E will use this information to alert customers when and where possible before turning off electric service for safety.
- Prepare for and practice an emergency plan to keep themselves and their families emergency-ready and safe during an outage. Keep in mind family members who are elderly, younger children and pets. Information and tips including a safety plan checklist are available at www.pge.com/psps.
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.