UPDATED PG&E WEBSITE: A Public Safety Power Shutoff Is Underway

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — We all take the modern convenience of electricity for granted until the lights go out.

And for many Bay Area residents in the North Bay, those lights went out early Wednesday morning. A wind advisory and red flag warning have Pacific Gas & Electric officials considering cutting the power to about 250,000 Bay Area customers as a safety precaution. The utility estimates total of 800,000 customers in Northern and Central California will have their power shut off.

While many customers in the North Bay woke up without electricity, residents in the East Bay, South Bay and on the Peninsula got a reprieve Wednesday afternoon. The projected power shutoff that was scheduled for between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. was delayed. Most areas are now supposed to have the power turned off around 8 p.m. and possibly as late as 10 p.m.

And those outages may last for several days so now is the time to get prepared.

Here are some tips to help you and your family survive a power outage.

  • Sign up for PG&E alerts so you can be quickly informed if a power outage is about to begin in your neighborhood. It is also a good idea to sign up for alerts with your county.
  • On Tuesday evening before going to bed, make sure to have all your electronic devices fully charged.
  • Fill up your gas tank on your way home from work — most gas pumps are electronic and will not work in an outage.
  • Stop by the ATM and withdraw cash — grocery store cash registers are electrically powered.
  • Stock up on seven days of food, water, and flashlights and batteries. If you are still using old incandescent bulbs, this might be a good time to upgrade. LED bulbs last much longer.
  • If you have an automatic garage door opener make sure you know how to disengage it and open the door manually.
  • If you have solar panels, they will not power your house. Only those with a home battery or special converter can get power from their panels.
  • Prepare yourself for slow driving — traffic lights will not be functioning in the neighborhood impacted by the power outage.
  • Be a good neighbor — if you have elderly or infirm neighbors check on their well being
  • If you use a generator — make sure it is at least 20 feet from your home with the engine exhaust directed away from windows and doors.
  • Talk with your building manager if you live or work in a building that has elevators or electronic key card access to understand how they will deal with a possible multi-day outage.
  • Break out your earthquake survival kit to use.

What to pick up at the store on Tuesday

  • A manual can opener
  • Bottled water — although water service may not be impacted it may be wise to have at least a two-day supply
  • Non perishable and food that is easy to prepare without an electric stove for you, your children and your pets
  • Two large bags of ice — these can be used to keep your refrigerated cool several hours
  • Flashlight lights and plenty of batteries. Safety experts say to avoid using candles.

What to do after the power goes off

  • Unplug or turn off appliances, equipment and electronics to avoid damage caused by surges when the power is restored.
  • Leave a single lamp on to alert you when the power returns. Then, turn your appliances on, one at a time.
  • Your refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours and a full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours–as long as the freezer and refrigerator doors are kept closed.
  • Be sure to use generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills outdoors only. Do not use a gas stove for heat.
  • For food safety tips, the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services has a detailed list at their site: Food Safety During A Power Outage.

PG&E Resources and Links (Please note the PG&E website was be slow to respond because of traffic)

Who Is Impacted By The Outages:

    • Alameda County 32,613 customers may be affected. That includes customers in Oakland, Castro Valley, Fremont, Union City, Berkeley, Hayward, San Leandro, Sunol, Pleasanton, Livermore.
    • Contra Costa County 40,219 customers may be affected. That includes customers in San Ramon, Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Pinole, Richmond, Kensington, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Berkeley, Canyon, San Pablo, Pittsburg, Rodeo, Concord, Albany, Antioch and Martinez.
    • Sonoma County 66,289 customers are at risk of losing power including people and businesses in Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Petaluma, Healdsburg, Cloverdale, Glen Ellen, Penngrove, Geyserville, Kenwood, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Annapolis, Stewarts Point, Cotati, Cazadero, Guerneville, Larkfield, El Verano, Boyes Hot Springs, Fulton and Bodega Bay.
    • Napa County 32,124 customers may lose electricity, including those in Napa, St. Helena, Calistoga, Angwin, Pope Valley, Rutherford, Oakville, Deer Park, Lake Berryessa, Yountville and American Canyon.
    • San Mateo County Communities and cities that could be affected include Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Woodside, Moss Beach, Montara, Portola Valley, Pescadero, La Honda, Redwood City, San Gregorio, Loma Mar, San Mateo, Menlo Park, Emerald Hills, Pacifica and Princeton. In all, 14,766 San Mateo County customers may lose electricity.
    • Santa Clara County 38,123 residential and business customers could be without power, including those in San Jose, Morgan Hill, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Redwood Estates, Milpitas, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Coyote, Gilroy, Mount Hamilton and Palo Alto. Officials said they don’t expect power to be cut off until noon on Wednesday.
    • Solano County Residents and businesses communities of Fairfield, Vacaville, Suisun City, Vallejo and Dixon may be affected. In all, 32,862 customers might lose power in those cities.
    • Mendocino County 38,123 residential and business customers could be without power including Ukiah, Potter Valley, Hopland, Redwood Valley, Willits, Boonville, Calpella, Talmage, Fort Bragg.
    • Santa Cruz County 32,017 residential and business customers could be without power including Aptos, Boulder Creek, Watsonville, Scotts Valley, Soquel, Ben Lomond, Felton, Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, Mount Hermon, Brookdale, Davenport, Capitola, Freedom, La Selva Beach, Corralitos, Saratoga, Bonny Doon.
    • Marin County Under 10,000 residential and business customers could be without power including Sausalito, Stinson Beach, Olema, Muir Beach,
      Fairfax, Bolinas, Mill Valley.

School Districts Outage Alert Pages
Here are links for parents who are wondering if their child’s school will be closed by the power outage.

School Closings

  • All Santa Rosa Junior College campuses and sites will be closed on Thursday, Oct. 10 due to the PG&E initiated power outage and will remain closed until we notify the community otherwise. All activities and classes, including online, will be canceled.
  • Sonoma State University has lost power to internet and network services on campus will remain closed through Friday.
  • All schools in the Napa Valley School District will remain closed Thursday.
  • Oakland Unified School District announced Wednesday afternoon that a total of nine schools would be closed Thursday due to the planned outage. Those schools include Fruitvale, Grass Valley, Howard, Montclair, Sequoia, Elmhurst United, Rudsdale Continuation, Skyline (the one school that was closed Wednesday) and Sojourner Truth.
  • Mills College and Holy Names University — both in Oakland — will also remain closed Thursday.
  • In the West Contra Costa Unified School District, the following schools will be closed: Pinole Valley High School, Ellerhorst Elementary School, Kensington Elementary School, Madera Elementary School and Olinda Elementary School.
  • All schools in San Jose’s Alum Rock School District will stay closed Thursday.
  • Tam Valley School in Mill Valley will remain closed Thursday.
  • San Leandro Unified Schools will reopen Thursday.

EBMUD prepares for power shutoff

EBMUD customers should check the map on ebmud.com/psps2019 to determine if they are in a pressure zone affected by this power shutoff. EBMUD asks that these customers be prepared to reduce water use indoors and turn off outdoor irrigation. This will help to conserve water in our local water storage tanks.

BART Unaffected by Public Safety Power Shutoff

BART service should not be affected during PG&E’s planned outages, according to the transit agency. BART officials have said they have the “flexibility to pull power from other sections of our traction power supply system” to replace any power shut down in the shutoff.

Generators will also help power equipment such as tunnel fans or other critical systems, according to BART. Escalators at BART stations using portable generators may be out of service, but elevators should be operational, the transit agency said.

Power Outage Resource Centers
To support customers in the affected areas, PG&E will open Community Resource Centers in several locations beginning on Wednesday, October 9, at 8 a.m. The centers will remain open during daylight hours only. Restrooms, bottled water, electronic-device charging and air-conditioned seating for up to 100 will be available at these facilities.Centers will be opened at the locations below:

  • Lake County — Clear Lake — Clearlake Senior Center 3245 Bowers Avenue, Clearlake 95422
  • Napa County — Napa — 1001 Fairgrounds Drive, Vallejo 94589
  • Napa County — Calistoga — Calistoga Fairgrounds – 1601 N. Oak Calistoga 94515
  • Santa Clara — San Jose — Avaya Stadium 1123 Coleman Avenue, San Jose 95110
  • Contra Costa — San Ramon — Bishop Ranch Parking Lot – 2600 Camino Ramon, San Ramon 94583
  • San Mateo — Half Moon Bay — Pasta Moon Restaurant, 845 Main St Half Moon Bay 94019
  • Solano — Vacaville — Mission Church 6391 Leisure Town Road, Vacaville 95687
  • Sonoma — Santa Rosa — Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building 1351 Maple Ave, Santa Rosa 95404
  • Alameda — Oakland Merritt College LOT B – Leona St., Oakland 94508
  • Santa Cruz — Aptos — Twin Lakes Church 2701 Cabrillo College Dr, Aptos 95003
  • Mendocino — Ukiah 1775 N. State Street, Ukiah 95482

 

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