10/21/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/21/2020 18:23
Release Date: October 21, 2020
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will de-energize certain electrical lines for safety over the course of this evening (Wednesday, Oct. 21) as part of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). PG&E is calling a PSPS due to a high-wind event combined with low humidity and severely dry vegetation, that together create high risk of catastrophic wildfires.
Due changes in the weather forecast, the number of customers expected to be impacted has decreased by 31 percent. The PSPS event will affect approximately 37,000 customers in targeted portions of 15 counties.
Customers Notified of Decision to Shut Off Power Wednesday afternoon
Customer notifications began 48 hours in advance of the shutoff and PG&E continues to update affected customers. Customers were notified this afternoon that the PSPS event would occur and customers who were removed from the scope were notified of cancellation. Lines will be de-energized starting at approximately 8 p.m. tonight and the de-energization process will continue throughout the evening, depending upon location, across the Sacramento Valley, Northern Sierra, and elevated terrain of the North and East Bay. All of these areas are covered by National Weather Service Red Flag Warnings, indicating critical fire weather conditions.
To support our customers during this PSPS, PG&E will open 21 Community Resource Centers (CRCs). For customers with power turning off this evening, CRCs will be open from 7 p.m. today (Wednesday, Oct. 21) until 10 p.m. All CRCs will operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. through the event. 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, WiFi; bottled water, grab-and-go bags and non-perishable snacks.
Timeline for safety shutoffs
The de-energization will begin around 8 p.m. Shutoffs will continue throughout the evening, ultimately affecting a total of about 37,000 customers in portions of Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Napa, Plumas, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, and Yolo Counties.
Customer notifications-via text, email and automated phone call-began Monday afternoon (Oct. 19), approximately two days prior to the potential shutoff. Additional notifications one day prior to the event took place Tuesday, Oct. 20. 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 with a focus on customers who rely on electricity for critical life-sustaining equipment.
Once the weather subsides on Friday morning and it's safe to do so, PG&E will patrol the de-energized lines to determine if they were damaged during the wind event and repair any damage found. PG&E will then safely restore power in stages and as quickly as possible, with the goal of restoring power to nearly all customers within 12 daylight hours after severe weather has passed.
Affected Counties and Customers
*The following Tribal Communities located within these counties will be impacted by this event:
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.
Community Resource Centers Reflect COVID-Safety Protocols
While a PSPS is an important safety tool to reduce wildfire risk during severe fire risk weather, PG&E understands that losing power disrupts lives.
PG&E's temporary CRCs will provide ADA-accessible restrooms, hand-washing stations; medical-equipment charging; WiFi; bottled water; grab-and-go bags and non-perishable snacks. The 21 CRCs, located throughout PG&E's service area in locations affected by the PSPS, will remain open throughout the event.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all CRCs will follow important health and safety protocols including:
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 locations will depend on a number of factors, including input from local and tribal leaders. Outdoor CRCs will provide grab-and-go supply bags so most customers can be on their way quickly.
PG&E updates its CRC locations regularly. Click here for updates.
Here's Where to Go to Learn More
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.