# # #
LoCO has received a few worried calls so, again, just to be clear: Humboldt is not scheduled to be affected by PG&E’s widespread Wednesday Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS, or “piss-piss” if you’re hip).
The latest confirmation of our luck this go-round comes in the form of the following Tuesday afternoon PG&E release which states that portions of 16 not-Humboldt counties could potentially be powered down Wednesday. Six other counties that had been previously targeted have been taken off the list.
So here it is, PG&E’s latest roundup of where might go dark tomorrow:
Customers in portions of 16 counties have been given a 24-hour notification by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) about a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) starting Wednesday morning.
Six counties won’t be impacted
Customers in six other counties, originally notified that they would be part of the PSPS, have now been notified that they will not lose power, as weather conditions improved. Those counties no longer impacted are: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Mateo. These customers will be contacted by PG&E via text, email or automated phone call to confirm that they will not be impacted by the PSPS.
Weather forecasts continue to be dynamic with significant variation across different portions of PG&E’s service area. As an example, some parts of PG&E’s territory are under a Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service, while other locations are subject to a Winter Storm Advisory.
High fire-risk conditions are forecast to begin early tomorrow morning and continue into Thursday. High winds are currently expected to subside Thursday mid-morning. PG&E will then inspect the de-energized lines to ensure they were not damaged during the wind event. PG&E will safely restore power in stages as quickly as possible, with the goal of restoring most customers by end of day Thursday, based on the current weather conditions.
While there is considerable uncertainty regarding the strength, timing and humidity levels associated with this weather system, the shutoff is currently expected to impact approximately 181,000 customers in the following 16 counties:
On PG&E’s website, the map provides a visual representation of potentially impacted areas. The best way for customers to confirm if they will be or won’t be affected by a PSPS is to use the online address lookup tool at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
Timeline for safety shutoffs
If PG&E calls the PSPS, the shutoffs will take place in phases beginning Wednesday morning through early afternoon, based on local weather conditions.
Customer notifications and impact
The company began notifying potentially impacted customers yesterday (48 hours prior) and notified them again today, 24 hours and four hours prior. Customers who have provided their contact information to PG&E were notified by phone, text and email.
It’s important to remember that customers not impacted by the PSPS may experience power outages due to PG&E equipment damaged during this weather event; those customers will not be notified in advance.
It is also very possible that customers may be affected by a power shutoff even though they are not experiencing extreme weather conditions in their specific location. This is because the electric system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions.
Community Resource Centers
To support customers in the affected areas, PG&E will open several Community Resource Centers (CRCs). Restrooms, bottled water, electronic-device charging and air-conditioned seating for up to 100 will be available at these facilities. Locations are below, and more are being confirmed. The locations of CRCs will be available at pge.com/pspsupdates.
The following services will be provided at our Community Resource Centers:
- Snacks (non-perishable)
- Blankets (upon request)
- Restroom facilities
- Charging stations
How Customers Can Prepare
- PG&E is asking customers to:
- Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
- Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.
- Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
- Keep in mind family members who are elderly, younger children and pets.
- Learn more about wildfire risk and what to do before, during and after an emergency to keep your family safe at PG&E’s Safety Action Center http://www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com/.