SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews have restored nearly all customers who lost electricity following a powerful windstorm that raked the company’s service area Monday through Wednesday.
By mid-day Friday, approximately 98 percent of the nearly 400,000 customers who lost power during the windstorm had had their power restored. This includes the customers affected by a small, targeted Public Safety Power Shutoff in the southern part of PG&E’s service area that began Monday night and lasted through Wednesday morning.
Even as the company works safely and as quickly as possible to restore around 8,500 customers who remain without power in especially hard-hit communities in the Sierra Foothills and Santa Cruz Mountains, PG&E meteorologists are monitoring a winter system that could bring wet and stormy weather to the service area beginning Sunday and lasting through next week.
“The year is off to an active start on the weather front, and we stand ready as a One PG&E team to respond safely and as quickly as possible to extreme conditions,” said Sumeet Singh, PG&E’s interim president. “We are tremendously grateful to our customers for their patience as we continue to work to restore power in areas significantly affected by intense winds. The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility, and we are tracking incoming weather to mobilize fresh crews and additional resources to respond to this potential winter storm system.”
PG&E crews continue to inspect and repair power lines in the Santa Cruz Mountains and in the Sierra foothills in portions of Mariposa and Madera counties. Wind gusts were recorded as high as 80 mph in the Santa Cruz Mountains and more than 60 mph in the Sierra foothills, and in both of these locations, winds toppled trees, power lines, utility poles and other debris earlier in the week.
Due to access issues on local roads and the amount of damage to PG&E’s electrical infrastructure, PG&E customers in these areas may experience outages through the weekend.
To support customers without power, PG&E opened Customer Resource Centers. The CRCs will remain open today as restoration continues. For more information, visit www.pge.com/crc.
PG&E updates estimated restoration times at pgealerts.alerts.pge.com/outages/map/, so customers can get a better sense of when power will be restored to their address.
Winter weather ahead
PG&E’s meteorology team forecasts a relatively cold and strong weather system will move through the company’s service area late Sunday into Tuesday, delivering breezy to gusty winds, widespread rain and mountain snows dropping at elevations as low as 2,000 to 3,000 feet.
A second weather system with a broad trough of moisture could affect the service area beginning Tuesday, bringing moderate to heavy rain and gusty winds. Forecasts show colder and unsettled weather with a chance of rain and mountain snow potentially continuing through next week.
PG&E’s 7 Day Public Safety Power Shutoff Potential forecast does not currently indicate the need for PSPS events related to this incoming system, but weather conditions can change quickly. We remind our customers to have an emergency plan, and to provide PG&E with up-to-date contact information.
Storm safety tips
- Never touch downed wires: If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move it—and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911 and by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
- Use flashlights, not candles: During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
- Have a backup phone: If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup.
- Have fresh drinking water, ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling. Blue Ice from your picnic cooler also works well in the freezer.
- Before power is restored: If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
- Secure outdoor furniture: Deck furniture, lightweight yard structures and decorative lawn items should be secured as they can be blown by high winds and damage overhead power lines and property.
- Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to customers, as well as crews working on power lines. If using portable generators, be sure they are in a well-ventilated area.
- Turn off appliances: If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
- Safely clean up: After the storm has passed, be sure to safely clean up. Never touch downed wires and always call 811 or visit 811express.com at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked.
You can find additional tips at pge.com/beprepared.
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.