By Debra Moore
During this morning’s Board of Supervisors meeting, District 3 Supervisor Sherrie Thrall said that Chester residents were frustrated with recent power outages and the lack of notification from PG&E. She said she knew that generators were providing local power, but didn’t know what was causing the outages, nor why there weren’t notifications.
Plumas News reached out to PG&E for the latest information.
“As you know, the Dixie Fire impacted several transmission power lines in Plumas County, and while we are rebuilding them and have restored some transmission lines, we’ve kept communities like Quincy powered with generators,” spokesman Paul Moreno said. “Transmission power lines that feed the Lake Almanor area were also impacted, and we were able to utilize a combination of our Hat Creek-Westwood 60kv line and generators in Chester to keep those areas in power these past several weeks.”
But at about 1 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 10, power was lost to the Hat Creek-Westwood 60kv line as an arm of the Dixie Fire burned east of Highway 89 in Shasta County. Six wooden transmission poles were damaged, causing a power outage impacting nearly 4,000 customers in Hamilton Branch, the Lake Almanor Peninsula, Lake Almanor West and some in nearby communities, including Chester.
“Most of Chester remained in power thanks to the generators, but they could not add more load,” Moreno said. “We did send an automated phone call to impacted customers on Friday to explain that the fire had caused the outage and we were working to restore, but at that time had not gained access to the damage so we did not have an estimated time of restoration.”
When it was deemed safe by CalFire, PG&E assessed the damage and began rebuilding the Hat Creek-Westwood 60kv poles and lines. Crews worked into late Saturday night to repair the transmission line, and then restored power to most of the customers very late Saturday night, and later to the Lake Almanor Peninsula after some local equipment trouble was fixed.
Generators are also being used in Greenville and Indian Valley. As transmission power is restored to substations, PG&E can remove the generators located at those locations.