CALIF. -- Pacific Gas and Electric officials are planning public safety power shutoffs (PSPS). Wind forecasts are predicting a historic wind event this weekend.
The PG & E chief meterologist is predicting widespread dry, hot and windy conditions that will last thorugh midday Monday. There is a scheduled briefing Saturday at the PG & E Headquarters. There Utility CEO and President, Chief Communications Officer, Senior Director and Chief Meterologist will be there to discuss the PSPS and answer questions. In a release, PG&E said the outages will affect more than 940,000 customers, a 90,000 customer increase from previous estimates. This will affect 38 counties across California.
Northern and Central California will experience the weather at different times, so outage times will vary.
The first phase will begin about 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 26. Customer impacts will include these counties: Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Joaquin, Sierra, Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama and Yuba.
The second phase will occur around 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 26, impacting customers in the following counties: Lake, Marin, Mendocino (south), Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo.
Phase three will begin about 5 p.m. Saturday, October 26, impacting customers in these counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus.
Phase four will begin about 5 p.m. Saturday, October 26, impacting customers in these counties: Alpine, Calaveras, Mariposa and Tuolumne.
Phase five begin about 5 p.m. Saturday, October 26, impacting customers in these counties: Humboldt, Mendocino (north) and Trinity.
The sixth and final phase is scheduled to begin 10 a.m., Sunday, October 27, impacting customers in Kern County.
The times are estimates and may change (earlier or later) dependent on weather. Michael Lewis, PG&E's senior vice president of Electric Operations, said, "This wind event is forecast to be the most serious weather situation that Northern and Central California has experienced in recent memory. We would only take this decision for one reason – to help reduce catastrophic wildfire risk to our customers and communities. There is no compromising the safety of our customers, which is our most important responsibility."
Before restoring power, PG&E must inspect its equipment for damage and make any necessary repairs. That process cannot begin until the severe weather event has subsided. PG&E says they will work with state and local agencies to provide updated restoration timelines following the conclusion of the severe weather event.
Customers are encouraged to visit and use the address look up tool to confirm if they will be impacted by this PSPS event.