From Alderpoint to Yuba City, hundreds of thousands of PG&E customers are managing without electricity across Northern California today as the company conducts a pre-emptive blackout aimed at preventing its equipment from sparking another wildfire.
The company began turning off the electricity to half a million households shortly after midnight due to high winds.
Customers of Redding’s Municipal Utility and other systems are not generally affected.
The outages mainly cover the Sierra and cascade foothills from the Iron Canyon reservoir North of Round Mountain and highway 299 in Shasta County all the way down to Jackson in Amador County. Outages in the foothills of the Coast Range stretch from Trinity County to the Bay Area. Outages are also underway in Humboldt County and in the Sacramento Valley as well.
PG&E says it postponed expanding the blackout to another quarter-million households in Alpine, Mariposa, and San Joaquin counties as well as additional parts of the Bay Area until after 2 p.m. as winds have been slow to develop.
A third phase, affecting another 40,000 customers further south, may come later this afternoon.
PG&E says the high winds will last through midday Thursday reaching 60 to 70 mph at higher elevations.
Electricity service will be restored once the weather allows, but the company has warned that could take days as each line must be inspected.
PG&E is operating what it is calling Community resource centers in each impacted county where water, electricity, lighting, heating and air conditioning will be available.
Butte Oroville: Bird Street School, 1421 Bird St, Oroville 95965
Butte Magalia: 14144 Lakeridge Court, Magalia 95954
Lake Clear Lake: Clearlake Senior Center 3245 Bowers Avenue, Clearlake 95422
Nevada Grass Valley: Sierra College Grass Valley 250 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley 95945
Placer, Auburn: Gold Country Fairgrounds 1273 High Street Auburn 95603
Shasta, Tehama, Redding, Cottonwood, Red Bluff: Shasta College, 11555 Old Oregon Trail Redding 96003
Yolo Winters: Next to PG&E Gas Academy - Intersection of E. Grant Avenue & Timber Crest Road, Winters 95694
Colusa, Glenn Williams, Orland: 839 Newville Road, Orland 95963
Sierra Sierra City: Loganville Campground parking lot - HWY 49, Sierra City 96125
Plumas, La Porte: 2140 Main St. La Porte 95981
Yuba Oregon House: 9185 Marysville Road, Oregon House 95962
PG&E has asked customers to:
- Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
- Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency contacts.
- Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
- Keep in mind elderly family members, younger children and pets. Information and tips including a safety plan checklist are available at www.pge.com/psps.
- Continue to monitor PG&E’s new weather forecasting web page at www.pge.com/weather which is a dedicated page with weather forecasting information and a daily 7-day PSPS lookahead.