Almost 800,000 PG&E Customers Brace for Largest Power Shut-Off Ever

Yolanda Curtis
October 9, 2019

Based on current forecasted weather conditions, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) anticipates that it may begin implementing a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) to more than 600,000 customers across portions of almost 30 northern, central, coastal and Bay Area counties.

"We would encourage residents and businesses to prepare for being without power for potentially as long as seven days", San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a press conference Monday night.

Overall, based on the latest weather forecasts and models, PG&E anticipates that this weather event will last through midday Thursday, with peak winds forecasted from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning and reaching 40 to 55 miles per hour, with isolated gusts up to 60 to 70 miles per hour.

"We do not have any information from PG&E about what areas or how many customers may be impacted", the post states. This is because the electric system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions.

Two years ago this week, the Tubbs Fire destroyed thousands of homes in Sonoma and Napa counties and killed 22 people. That process can not begin until the severe weather event has subsided.

If you have a backup generator, please do a safety check and make sure you have enough fuel to last a few days.

Siemens says the outages are hard on her family because it scares their children, who were traumatized during the massive Paradise blaze, and affects their cleaning business.

Customers may be affected by a power shutoff even though they are not experiencing extreme weather conditions in their specific location.

With windy, dry weather in the forecast, California utilities are considering shutting off power to more than 700,000 customers to try to prevent wildfires ignited by electrical equipment. It was the fourth time it has cut power since the first shutoff last October, which came one month before the Camp Fire. Visual inspections are necessary since circuit breakers, reclosing devices and fuses that are typically used to help detect any potential damage from a weather event like a winter storm are also de-energized during a Public Safety Power Shutoff for safety reasons.

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