SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — Many PG&E customers in the Bay Area had their lights come back on Monday, but some were not restored before another round of strong winds threatened to damage power lines and spark fires.
PG&E said Monday that the next round of planned shutoffs could affect up to 600,000 customers and will begin Tuesday morning.
Napa County officials said they expect the Public Safety Power Shutoff event to begin at 7 a.m. Tuesday after PG&E told them their power will likely not be fully be restored Monday evening. The shutoff will affect about 14,900 customers in the county, with restoration expected to begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Those affected in Solano County will also have power turned off starting at 7 a.m., PG&E said.
San Mateo County officials sent an alert saying they expect the shutdown to occur at 11 p.m. Tuesday night. Customers south of Pacifica and west of State Route 280 to the ocean will be affected.
PG&E said late Monday that the following counties will also have power turned off beginning at 11 p.m. Tuesday evening: Marin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Alameda and Contra Costa.
PG&E announced Monday morning shortly after 9 a.m. that the “all clear” had been given for the Oct. 26 PSPS event and that crews were working to inspect equipment in order for power restoration to proceed.
Weather “all-clear” issued for 10/26 #PSPS event – 6k team members conducting inspections on equipt & working safely and as quickly as possible to make repairs where needed & restore power to customers. We are monitoring weather & defining scope for potential 10/29 PSPS event.
— PG&E (@PGE4Me) October 28, 2019
Utility officials said they expect to have power restored to all places in the area 48 hours after the all clear was given.
Things had improved significantly by 8 p.m. Monday, with PG&E reporting that around 400,000 customers of the total affected by the shutdown had been restored.
Below is a list of customers restored in each Bay Area county besides unaffected San Francisco (8 p.m.):
- Alameda – 83%
- Contra Costa – 81%
- Marin – 28%
- Napa – 32%
- San Mateo – 92%
- Santa Clara – 65%
- Solano – 23%
- Sonoma – 9%
So far, crews have registered more than 50 preliminary reports of damage on its system during the extreme wind. Additionally, approximately 100,000 customers lost power due to wind-related outages on the system in areas that were not de-energized. Of those customers, about 65,000 had been restored as of 4 p.m. Monday.
Tuesday’s PSPS event comes due to a forecast of strong winds expected to last until Wednesday.
At a media briefing in San Francisco Sunday night, Mark Quinlan, PG&E’s director of wildfire operations, said he expects Tuesday’s power shutoffs to be on about the same scale in the North Bay as are this weekend’s, and affecting somewhat fewer people in the rest of the Bay Area.
Nearly 200,000 people were under evacuation orders as crews grappled with the Kincade Fire that has increased in size overnight to 66,000 acres or 103 square miles (267 square kilometers), destroyed 94 buildings and was threatening 80,000 buildings.
Some 965,000 customers — more than 2.5 million people — were affected as of Sunday evening by the planned power shutoffs, Quinlan said, and another 100,000 customers, as of Sunday, were experiencing outages due to downed power lines, fires or other problems not related to the PG&E shutdowns.
When asked whether Public Safety Power Shutoffs will become California’s “new normal,” Vesey said shutoffs figure to be a part of the plan for the foreseeable future.
“We want the shutoffs to be the absolute last resort,” Vesey said. “We know that will take time. But we believe that Public Safety Power Shutoffs need to remain a viable option.”
© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service and The Associated Press contributed to this report.