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California's largest utility is restoring power to 50,000 customers after wind conditions improved

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California utility Pacific Gas & Electric is restoring power to tens of thousands of people who have had their electricity cut off since Wednesday.The...

Posted: Nov 22, 2019 3:38 AM
Updated: Nov 22, 2019 3:45 AM

California utility Pacific Gas & Electric is restoring power to tens of thousands of people who have had their electricity cut off since Wednesday.

The state's largest utility said Thursday that crews had already restored power to more than half of the nearly 50,000 customers in northern California that were impacted by the intentional shut off.

The shut-off, which started Wednesday, was intended to prevent the utility's equipment from setting off fires. PG&E expected high winds and dry conditions as a storm approached the state. When wind conditions improved early Thursday morning, the utility issued a weather "all clear," leading crews to start inspections and restoration work.

The utility said it expects all customers to have power by Thursday night.

This week's outage was the latest in a series of power shutoffs that have been heavily criticized by residents.

PG&E has been criticized in recent years for the role its equipment was found to have played in a series of catastrophic fires across the state, including the 2018 Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history.

The Camp Fire killed 85 people and destroyed thousands of structures was started by electrical lines owned by PG&E. The company filed for bankruptcy in January as it came under pressure from billions of dollars in claims tied to deadly wildfires.

To avoid being blamed for another wildfire, the utility has been conducting what it calls Public Safety Power Shutoffs, intentionally cutting electricity to avoid causing fires during high winds and dry conditions.

In addition to PG&E, utility company Southern California Edison has also turned off power in affected areas.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has said the state could take over the utility if it does not pull itself out of bankruptcy by the middle of next year.

"PG&E as we know it may or may not be able to figure this out. If they cannot, we are not going to sit around and be passive," Newsom said. "If Pacific Gas and Electric is unable to secure its own fate and future ... then the state will prepare itself as backup for a scenario where we do that job for them."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4131

Reported Deaths: 151
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah112159
Marion94225
Washington72217
Clackamas30511
Deschutes1210
Linn1159
Umatilla1143
Polk9811
Yamhill697
Lane682
Jackson650
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath420
Malheur320
Coos310
Jefferson280
Douglas260
Josephine231
Wasco221
Columbia160
Hood River140
Lincoln120
Morrow120
Curry70
Crook60
Union60
Tillamook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 106622

Reported Deaths: 4077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles516782294
Riverside7486323
San Diego7100260
Orange5923145
San Bernardino5034199
Alameda319595
Santa Clara2707140
San Francisco247341
Kern207637
San Mateo206184
Tulare184484
Fresno165832
Santa Barbara163612
Imperial163427
Contra Costa140437
Sacramento137356
Ventura106232
San Joaquin85834
Kings7143
Stanislaus68328
Sonoma5314
Solano50922
Monterey47710
Marin43614
Merced2807
San Luis Obispo2691
Yolo20723
Santa Cruz2062
Placer1999
Napa1113
Humboldt983
Madera982
San Benito852
El Dorado840
Del Norte440
Butte440
Sutter422
Nevada411
Shasta374
Mono351
Mendocino300
Yuba291
Lake230
Inyo201
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Glenn140
Amador100
Siskiyou70
Colusa50
Lassen50
Tuolumne40
Plumas40
Tehama41
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
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