SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — PG&E will shut off power to approximately 48,200 customers in seven counties in the North Bay and the Sierra Foothills early Wednesday morning due to dangerous fire conditions, officials said.
This is the second Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event this week. The power will be turned off at around 2:30 a.m. in the Sierra and at around 4:30 a.m. in the North Bay. Windy weather conditions are expected to last until noon Wednesday.
The counties that will be affected are Butte, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sonoma and Yuba. About 1,400 total will be affected in the North Bay.
In Napa County, the shutoff will include about 700 customers in Napa, Calistoga and Lake Berryessa.
In Sonoma County, the shutoff area is near Porter Creek Road and includes Safari West, the area’s wildlife preserve. People in the area told KPIX 5 they are preparing the exotic animal park for the power outage.
Below is a detailed approximation of the amount of customers affected in each county, courtesy of PG&E:
- Butte County (22,836 customers in Bangor, Berry Creek, Brush Creek, Butte Meadows, Chico, Feather Falls, Forbestown, Forest Ranch, Magalia, Oroville, Palermo, Paradise, Stirling City, Yankee Hill)
- Napa County (708 customers in Calistoga, Lake Berryessa and Napa)
- Nevada County (16,506 customers in Cedar Ridge, Chicago Park, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, Rough and Ready)
- Placer County (2,633 customers in Auburn, Foresthill)
- Plumas County (4 customers in Storrie)
- Sonoma County (701 customers in Santa Rosa)
- Yuba County (4,833 customers in Browns Valley, Brownsville, Camptonville, Challenge, Dobbins, Loma Rica, Marysville, Oregon House, Rackerby, Smartville)
Total — 48,231 customers
Once the power is turned off, PG&E says it will have resources standing by to respond for inspections, repairs and restoration once the dangerous weather conditions subside.
“After the dry and windy weather has passed and it is safe to do so, PG&E crews will work to visually inspect each mile of our power lines to ensure they are free from damage and safe to energize,” the utility said.
PG&E’s decision was announced around 7:30 pm. The utility says this is the new normal following huge wildfires in recent years that have wiped out neighborhoods and even entire towns.
Lawsuits that have threatened to destroy PG&E itself and the company is now doing preemptive blackouts. But some local officials say PG&E needs to do a better job communicating the power shutoff decisions.
“I’m beyond frustration. We’ve had a couple hundred thousand people and government agencies, schools and businesses preparing for a potential shutoff. We still are in the same holding pattern …trying to be prepared, trying to be good soldiers and not knowing exactly what’s going to happen and when,” said Susan Gorin, a Sonoma County supervisor.
PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff: Map of potential shutoff areas
PG&E suggests that customers prepare for multiple-day outages. There are also community resource centers set up to aid customers in the affected areas. They offer restrooms, bottled water, electronic device charging and air conditioned seating.