Californians need to prepare for power outages as another set of planned blackouts are about to hit 17 counties in Northern California. Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. has begun to cut power to about 450,000 customers in Northern California.
The latest string of power cuts comes less than a month after PG&E cut off power for several days to nearly 800,000 customers across Northern and Central California because they could not guarantee California’s electric grid could handle the forecasted 20MPH winds.
Well, slightly windy conditions are yet again wreaking havoc on California and the latest round of electricity shutoffs could last for at least 48 hours.
The shutoffs are expected to begin around 2 p.m. in the Sierra Foothills, 3 p.m. in the North Bay counties, and approximately 1 a.m. Thursday in affected areas of San Mateo and Kern counties,” PG&E said. “Once the high winds subside, 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 the vast majority of customers within 48 hours after the weather has passed.”
The planned blackout will impact people in 17 counties, mainly in the Sierra Foothills and the North Bay — including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Kern, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Mateo Sierra, Sonoma, Tehama, and Yuba.
Earlier this week, PG&E Chief Executive Officer William Johnson said these intentional outages could go on for the next decade.
“I think this is probably a 10-year timeline to get to a point where it’s really ratcheted down significantly,” PG&E Chief Executive Officer William Johnson said Friday at an emergency meeting of the California Public Utilities Commission.
The utility said these shutdowns are necessary because the National Weather Service has indicated a high risk of wildfires due to dry and windy conditions. Power lines can spark fires when blown down by wind or when falling tree limbs or other vegetation come into contact with them.
UPDATE: Now Southern California Edison is warning it could cut power to 308,000 customers in seven counties to prevent winds from damaging electrical equipment and starting wildfires.
📌 Due to weather conditions that may create the potential for elevated fire risk, Public Safety Power Shutoffs are under consideration for various communities in SoCal. See a list of cities under PSPS consideration. https://t.co/wo6v2jR8dx #BePrepared pic.twitter.com/tEd0kaXlZy— SCE (@SCE) October 23, 2019