Pacific Gas and Electric Co. could begin shutting off power Wednesday in 25 California counties, including every Bay Area county excluding San Francisco, due to windy, dry conditions that are expected to elevate the risk of catastrophic wildfires. A red flag warning indicating dangerous fire conditions was issued, and the utility announced a power shut-off “watch” for 303,000 homes and businesses, which is equivalent to more than 900,000 people. Here’s what you need to know about the potential outages: How long do power shut-offs last? Power is restored in stages, location by location. During shut-offs last month, PG&E said workers might need up to five days to restore power, but most homes and businesses were back up and running in two days. The company must inspect all lines for damage before restoring power. Why did PG&E start doing preemptive power shut-offs? Related Stories California Fire Tracker: Special interactive mapLocalBy Tatiana … [Read more...] about PG&E power outages: Here’s what you need to know
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Inside the room where the state’s biggest power company decided to cut the power to 2 million people last week, everything seems very neat and orderly, even though the results of that decision have been anything but. The impression has a lot to do with the color-coded vests. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. employees in the room wear yellow vests and red vests and green vests and pale-blue vests and white vests, different colors for different teams. Meteorology is red, as is Planning & Intelligence. Land Acquisition is yellow. Finance, naturally, is green. Visiting reporters have to wear vests, too. Those are hazard-orange and say “External Visitor” in capital letters across the back. “So we can see you coming from miles away,” a PG&E minder joked before leading The Chronicle on a brief tour of the company’s Emergency Operations Center, or EOC, at its downtown headquarters — the room that is the nerve center of this week’s … [Read more...] about Inside PG&E’s ‘war room,’ the chaos of shut-off week seems far away
Power lines in Oakland, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2019. Power lines in Oakland, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2019. Photo: Jim Wilson, NYT Photo: Jim Wilson, NYT Image 1 of / 34 Caption Close Image 1 of 34 Power lines in Oakland, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2019. Power lines in Oakland, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2019. Photo: Jim Wilson, NYT PG&E hasn't confirmed precise outage timing. Here's when counties say they're going dark. 1 / 34 Back to Gallery Less than 24 hours away from a potential widespread power shut-off in Northern California, PG&E was still hesitant to share any details about exactly when blackouts would start rolling out. "The high fire risk conditions are expected to begin … [Read more...] about PG&E hasn’t confirmed precise outage timing. Here’s when counties say they’re going dark.
More than 900,000 people in 25 California counties — including every Bay Area county but San Francisco — could lose power starting Wednesday as windy, dry conditions will greatly increase fire risk. PG&E said Monday that 303,000 homes and businesses — each one roughly equivalent to 3 people — could be impacted as the company tries to stop its power lines from starting more fires. In the Bay Area, about 115,000 homes and businesses, equivalent to 345,000 people, could be impacted. A red flag warning, signaling high fire danger, is projected to begin at 4 a.m. Wednesday and continue through 7 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. (Click here for the latest on the weather.) Power shut-offs can last beyond the end of a red flag warning, because PG&E must inspect its equipment after the worst danger has passed. Still, the expected outages this week appear likely to be shorter term than October’s multi-day outages. Sustained winds of … [Read more...] about PG&E outages: 900,000 Californians prepare for blackouts starting Wednesday
Winds — and fire danger — are expected to pick up in parts of the Bay Area early Wednesday through Thursday morning, prompting an increasingly familiar combination of red flag fire weather warnings and possible power shutoffs for more than 115,000 local PG&E customers. Sustained winds of 35 to 45 mph from the north and northeast are expected to sweep across the dry vegetation of the North Bay mountains, East Bay hills and the Diablo range with gusts on peaks and ridges surpassing 60 miles per hour. The combination of strong winds, low humidity and dried-out vegetation could quickly turn a small blaze into a raging wildfire. Bay Area residents have come to know this means PG&E could shut off the power as a precaution, possibly for days. The utility issued a “watch” that could result in 303,000 customers in parts of 25 Northern California counties losing their electricity beginning Wednesday. PG&E customers could receive 24-hour notifications starting … [Read more...] about PG&E power shut-offs could hit 115,000 Bay Area customers starting Wednesday