SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) continues to monitor a potentially strong and dry offshore wind event forecasted to start Wednesday evening. Given the expected conditions, PG&E began its one-day advance notifications to customers in areas where PG&E may need to proactively turn power off for safety to reduce the risk of wildfire from energized power lines.
Potential Public Safety Power Shutoff Wednesday
The potential PSPS starting Wednesday evening could impact approximately 54,000 customers in targeted portions of 24 counties in the Northern Sierra Nevada foothills; the mid and higher elevations in the Sierra generally north of Yosemite; the North Bay mountains near Mt. St. Helena; small pockets in the East Bay near Mt. Diablo; a pocket of the Oakland Hills east of Piedmont (generally between highway 24 and Upper San Leandro Reservoir); the elevated terrain east of Milpitas around the Calaveras Reservoir; and portions of the Santa Cruz and Big Sur mountains.
Specifically, customers in portions of the following counties are being notified: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Lake, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba. A small number of customers in two tribal communities also may be affected.
The potential PSPS event is still over 24 hours away. PG&E’s in-house meteorologists, as well as its Wildfire Safety Operation Center (WSOC) and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will continue to monitor conditions closely, and additional customer notifications will be issued as we move closer to the potential event.
Customer notifications—via text, email and automated phone call—began late Monday afternoon, approximately two days 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 with a knock on their door when possible. A primary focus will be given to customers who rely on electricity for critical life-sustaining equipment.
Potentially Impacted Counties
The potential shutoff will only affect about 1% of the 5.4 million customers within PG&E’s service territory. For the Bay Area, we are forecasting an even smaller impact of less than 0.5%. Due to our improvements to the PSPS program and infrastructure over the course of 2020 – such as improved meteorology forecasting and guidance tools, sectionalizing and temporary generation to energize microgrids, substations and critical facilities – we were able to make this upcoming PSPS event significantly smaller in size.
We estimate that approximately 54,000 customers in the following 24 counties will be affected:
- Alameda County: 5,405 customers, 214 Medical Baseline customers
- Amador County: 57 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
- Butte County: 11,315 customers, 982 Medical Baseline customers
- Calaveras County: 262 customers, 17 Medical Baseline customers
- Contra Costa County: 929 customers, 61 Medical Baseline customers
- El Dorado County: 1,654 customers, 73 Medical Baseline customers
- Humboldt County: 187 customers, 1 Medical Baseline customer
- Lake County: 82 customers, 5 Medical Baseline customers
- Monterey County: 1,084 customers, 20 Medical Baseline customers
- Napa County: 9,230 customers, 315 Medical Baseline customers
- Nevada County: 224 customers, 6 Medical Baseline customers
- Placer County: 389 customers, 13 Medical Baseline customers
- Plumas County: 1,855 customers, 103 Medical Baseline customers
- San Mateo County: 1,683 customers, 56 Medical Baseline customers
- Santa Clara County: 2,210 customers, 103 Medical Baseline customers
- Santa Cruz County: 6,024 customers, 406 Medical Baseline customers
- Shasta County: 4,697 customers, 396 Medical Baseline customers
- Sierra County: 1,052 customers, 24 Medical Baseline customers
- Solano County: 871 customers, 66 Medical Baseline customers
- Sonoma County: 1,781 customers, 65 Medical Baseline customers
- Tehama County: 1,230 customers, 58 Medical Baseline customers
- Trinity County: 178 customers, 10 Medical Baseline customers
- Yolo County: 10 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
- Yuba County: 1,841 customers, 141 Medical Baseline customers
- Total: 54,252 customers, 3,135 Medical Baseline customers
Customers can look up their address online to find out if their location is being monitored for the potential safety shutoff at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
Public Safety Power Shutoffs: What PG&E Customers Should Know
Community Resource Centers Reflect COVID-Safety Protocols
PG&E will open Community Resource Centers (CRC) to support our customers affected by the PSPS. While a PSPS is an important safety tool to reduce the risk of major wildfires during severe weather, PG&E understands that losing power disrupts lives, especially for customers sheltering-at-home in response to COVID-19. These temporary CRCs will be open to customers when power is out at their homes and will provide ADA-accessible restrooms and hand-washing stations; medical-equipment charging; Wi-Fi; bottled water; and non-perishable snacks.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.
Besides these health protocols, customers visiting a CRC in 2020 will experience further changes, including a different look and feel. In addition to using existing indoor facilities, PG&E is planning to open CRCs at outdoor, open-air sites in some locations and use large commercial vans as CRCs in other locations. CRC format will depend on a number of factors, including input from local and tribal leaders. Supplies also will be handed out in grab-and-go bags at all CRCs so most customers can be on their way quickly. More information regarding CRC locations and resources can be found by visiting 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 seven 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. This includes phone numbers, escape routes and a family meeting location if an evacuation is necessary.
- PG&E is airing its 30-minute TV program, “Preparing for Public Safety Power Shutoffs” program on Wednesday, October 14 in the Bay Area market on KRON4 from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. and KOFY (Channel 20): 8:00 to 8:30 a.m.
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 pge.com and pge.com/news.