Updated 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 - Wind gusts as strong as 64 mph occurred in Butte County during the PSPS outage event, initiated for fire safety by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) this week.
According to PG&E, a majority of 31,000 customers impacted by the PSPS event had power restored by early Friday evening. The company said their goal is to restore electric service to essentially all customers affected by the PSPS who can receive power within 12 daylight hours of the "weather all clear" for each affected area. A total of 41,000 customers over 24 different counties had electric shutoffs starting Wednesday evening, Oct. 14, 2020.
PG&E will submit a reporting detailing the damage they discovered after inspecting their lines. The report is due within 10 days of the PSPS event and is turned in to the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC). PG&E said Friday night that their inspectors have discovered at least 30 locations of damage or hazard from the weather event.
The high winds said PG&E, combined with low humidity and severely dry vegetation, created a high risk of catastrophic wildfires, creating the need for the safety shut-off event.
Butte, Plumas, Shasta, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, and Yuba counties had shut-offs, as well as the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Lake, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma.
PG&E says more than 1,200 employees have either been working on the ground or in 47 helicopters that they are using to inspect about 3,200 miles of power lines for damage or hazards.
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – PG&E is going forward with the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event starting Wednesday evening and expected to last until Friday.
Representatives with PG&E said the first phase of power outages will start at about 6 p.m. Wednesday and affect 33,000 customers in portions of the following counties: Butte, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Yolo, and Yuba.
The second phase will begin around 8 p.m. Wednesday and affect 19,000 customers in portions of Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Monterey, Nevada, Placer, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Sierra.
A third phase is expected to begin around 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, and affect 700 customers in portions of Amador, Calaveras, Humboldt, and Trinity counties.
Once the wind calms on Friday morning, PG&E crews will patrol and inspect the de-energized lines to make sure they were not damaged during the wind event, according to PG&E.
Officials said they anticipate power will be restored to essentially all customers impacted by 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, weather and safety permitting.
40 Customer Resource Centers will open at 5 p.m. Wednesday. They will stay open until 10 p.m. and then operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. through the event. For more information on what you need to know about a PG&E PSPS and a list of customer resource centers, click here.