SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — PG&E said Friday night that all power has been restored to all customers who receive service who were impacted by the most recent Public Safety Power Shutoff.
The power shutoff, or PSPS, affected approximately 41,000 customers in 24 counties, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties in the Bay Area.
Other neighboring regions affected were Lake, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Yolo counties.
The PSPS began Wednesday evening. PG&E said the power shutoff was due to high winds combined with low humidity and severely dry vegetation.
As of 2 p.m., the utility had already restored power to half of the customers impacted by the PSPS.
As of 2pm, PG&E has restored power to approx. half of the customers impacted by the 10/14 Public Safety Power Shutoff. Customers in Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Solano, Trinity, Yolo, and Yuba have all been restored.
— PG&E (@PGE4Me) October 16, 2020
Earlier Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service extended its Red Flag Warning for the Bay Area into Saturday morning as dangerous fire conditions due to hot temperatures, increased winds and lower humidity continued to grip the region.
PG&E had shut off power on Wednesday as the Bay Area faced increased fire danger due to unseasonably high temperatures, dry conditions and strong offshore winds, particularly in the higher elevations. The National Weather Service declared a Red Flag Warning on Tuesday for much of the North Bay and East Bay, along with the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The warning was initially set to expire Friday morning but was then extended to 6 p.m. Friday evening. Shortly after 12 p.m. Friday, the weather service extended it further into Saturday morning.
Continuing offshore winds at higher elevations coupled with low humidity and high temperatures led to the latest extension.
UPDATE: The Red Flag Warning will continue for the North Bay Mountains and East Bay Hills through 8 AM Saturday, October 17. Breezy offshore winds along these higher elevations will persist into early Saturday, causing dangerously dry conditions. pic.twitter.com/XJPLnfsDyz
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) October 16, 2020
The National Weather Service noted that a number of cities set or tied records for high temperatures Friday. Half Moon Bay hit it’s second highest temperatures in the town’s recorded history.
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) October 17, 2020
Originally it was estimated about 53,000 would lose power but PG&E said it was able to reduce the number affected due to better-than-expected weather conditions.
For people living in areas affected by the Glass Fire in Sonoma and Napa counties, many say it’s been difficult because many just returned home last weekend after being evacuated.
“Emptied the fridge, cleaned the fridge, restock the fridge and here we are having to empty the fridge again,” said Calistoga resident Catherine Singels. “I’m fairly old so I’ve learned to not get too stressed about it. There’s nothing I can do about it.”
PG&E crews have to inspect every mile of line for damage before those lines can be re-energized. The utility says it expects an “all clear” to be issued Friday morning in all remaining areas of the PSPS footprint, at which more than 1,000 PG&E employees will deploy on the ground or in helicopters to conduct line patrols and restore customers.
The utility has opened a number of Community Resource Centers to provide equipment charging, Wi-Fi, bottled water, grab-and-go bags, and snacks during the power shutoff event. PG&E said it is also partnering with community groups to help people with medical, financial and other needs during PSPS events.
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