SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Pacific Gas & Electric says it has restored power to 97 percent of the customers it deliberately blacked out because of weather-related fire concerns.
PG&E reports Friday night that of the estimated 738,000 homes and businesses it deliberately blacked out Wednesday, only 21,000 are still without electricity.
The outage affected portions of 35 counties in the Bay Area, Wine Country, Central Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills. PG&E was concerned that dry, gusty winds would down power lines or throw debris into them, sparking brush fires. PG&E equipment was blamed for a deadly November fire.
Winds gusting to 70 mph were reported Wednesday and Thursday. The utility says there were 30 instances of weather-related damage to its system during the shutoff.
Officials said 96 percent of Bay Area customers had power restored by early Friday evening.
Experts say a customer includes between two and three people.
CEO Bill Johnson said the goal was to have power back on to 98 percent of all customers by the end of the day Friday.
Poorly maintained power lines have sparked catastrophic wildfires in California the last two years.
Shifting weather patterns on Thursday and Friday led PG&E to declare all clear for most of the 35 affected counties, with only portions of Kern County with the preventative shutdown still in effect.
• PG&E CEO Apologizes To Customers: ‘We Were Not Adequately Prepared’
• San Jose Mayor Says Power Shutdown Cost His City $500,000
• CPUC President Calls PG&E’s Management Of Shutoffs ‘Unacceptable’
• State Senator Calls For Clear Standards In Future PG&E Shutoffs
However, PG&E is still working on restoring power across the state and has to make repairs to some areas where lines were damaged during the windy weather.
As of about noon on Friday, PG&E had found 23 places where equipment was damaged in the areas affected by the shutoffs.
The utility it was able to restore power after winds subsided and workers could inspect its power lines.
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