SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has announced that it will de-energize certain electrical lines as part of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) due to a strong and dry offshore wind event. The PSPS event will affect customers in portions of 16 counties, primarily in Northern Sierra and the North Valley.
The first de-energization phase will begin early Sunday morning and impact approximately 15,000 customers. The second phase is expected to begin Sunday afternoon and will impact approximately 74,000 customers. This PSPS event is based on forecasts of widespread, severely dry conditions and strong, gusty winds. These conditions are expected to continue through Monday morning in most locations.
The power shutoff is expected to impact approximately 89,000 customers in portions of 16 counties, including: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Tehama and Yuba counties. Two customers within Sonoma County and 15 customers in Kern County are also expected to be included in the scope of this PSPS.
PG&E is working to improve its PSPS program by making events smaller in size, shorter in length and smarter for our customers. While PSPS is an important wildfire safety tool, PG&E understands the burden PSPS places on its customers especially for those with medical needs and customers sheltering-at-home in response to COVID-19.
Timeline for safety shutoffs
Based on wind forecasts, the process to shut off power will begin in the early morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 27. PG&E expects to begin de-energization for the first wave of 15,000 customers at approximately 2:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Weather forecasts project a lull in wind activity during the day on Sunday, and then escalating again Sunday late afternoon. At that time—approximately 4 p.m.—PG&E will begin de-energization for the second wave of 74,000 customers, primarily in the Central Sierra region.
Once the high winds subside Monday morning, PG&E will inspect the de-energized lines to ensure they were not damaged during the wind event, and then restore power. PG&E will safely restore power in stages as quickly as possible, with the goal of restoring power to nearly all customers within 12 daylight hours after severe weather has passed.
Customer notifications—via text, email and automated phone call—began Thursday, approximately 48 hours prior to the potential shutoff. Customers enrolled in the company’s Medical Baseline program who do not verify that they have received these important safety communications will be individually visited by a PG&E employee to deliver the warning if possible, starting with customers who rely on electricity for critical life-sustaining equipment.
Potentially Impacted Counties and Customers
The power shutoff is currently expected to impact approximately 89,000 customers in the following 16 counties, including:
- Alpine County: 573 customers, 6 Medical Baseline
- Amador County: 5,465 customers, 400 Medical Baseline
- Butte County: 18,001 customers, 1,726 Medical Baseline
- Calaveras County: 9,978 customers, 386 Medical Baseline
- El Dorado County: 30,259 customers, 2,011 Medical Baseline
- Kern County: 15 customers, 0 Medical Baseline
- Lake County: 55 customers, 2 Medical Baseline
- Napa County: 216 customers, 5 Medical Baseline
- Nevada County: 7,260 customers, 434 Medical Baseline
- Placer County: 9,056 customers, 560 Medical Baseline
- Plumas County: 785 customers, 24 Medical Baseline
- Shasta County: 2,816 customers, 241 Medical Baseline
- Sierra County: 1,099 customers, 22 Medical Baseline
- Sonoma County: 2 customers, 0 Medical Baseline
- Tehama County: 1,223 customers, 58 Medical Baseline
- Yuba County: 1,891 customers, 152 Medical Baseline
Total: 88,703 customers, 6,027 Medical Baseline
Customers can use an address lookup tool to find out if their location is being monitored for the potential safety shutoff at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
Here’s Where to Go to Learn More
- PG&E’s emergency website www.pge.com/pspsupdates is now available in thirteen languages. Currently, the website is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Russian, Vietnamese, Korean, Farsi, Arabic, Hmong, Khmer, Punjabi and Japanese. Customers will have the opportunity to choose their language of preference for viewing the information when visiting the website.
- Customers are encouraged to update their contact information and indicate their preferred language for notifications by visiting www.pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-800-742-5000, where in-language support is available.
- Tenants and non-account holders can sign up to receive PSPS Zip Code Alerts for any area where you do not have a PG&E account by visiting www.pge.com/pspszipcodealerts.
- PG&E has launched a new tool at its online Safety Action Center www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com to help customers prepare. By using the "Make Your Own Emergency Plan" tool and answering a few short questions, visitors to the website can compile and organize the important information needed for a personalized family emergency plan.
Community Resource Centers Reflect COVID-Safety Protocols
PG&E will open approximately 28 outdoor, open-air Community Resource Centers (CRCs) in every county where a PSPS occurs. These temporary CRCs will be open to customers when power is out at their homes and will provide ADA-accessible restrooms, hand-washing stations; medical-equipment charging; Wi-Fi; bottled water; grab-and-go bags and non-perishable snacks. PG&E updates its CRC locations regularly, click here for updates.
All CRCs will follow important health and safety protocols including:
- Facial coverings and maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet from those who are not part of the same household will be required at all CRCs.
- Temperature checks will be administered before entering CRCs that are located indoors.
- CRC staff will be trained in COVID-19 precautions and will regularly sanitize surfaces and use Plexiglass barriers at check-in.
- All CRCs will follow county and state requirements regarding COVID-19, including limits on the number of customers permitted indoors at any time.
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 23,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.