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, and including portions of Plumas.
The most recent information indicates that the local areas affected will include the Bucks Lake and La Porte areas, as well as portions of the Feather River Canyon. To find out if your address is included in a planned power outage go to: https://pgealerts.alerts.pge.com/addresslookup/
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.
In total, 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 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