200K without power as PG&E continues restoration efforts

PG&E continued it's ongoing effort to restore power to all customers impacted by the unprecedented blackout. 

By about 4 p.m. Friday there were slightly less than 200,000 customers offline. Well below the 740,000 residents who lost electricity at the peak of the windstorms. But that's of little consolation to those still without. 

With power equipment still undergoing inspections and repairs in Marin County, a flashing sign, high up on Panoramic Highway, advertised that Muir Woods was closed. It was put there to help folks with parking reservations avoid the steep, winding, narrow road down to the closed National Monument's site. 

After inspections had uncovered wind damaged equipment, PG&E had repairs going on in numerous places across the Bay Area.

"As of 6 a.m. on Friday, PG&E found 23 instances of weather-related damage on impacted lines and we're working right now to get all those repairs fixed and the lines back up and running," said PG&E spokeswoman Megan McFarland. 

In anticipation of having some power poles fail up in high wind areas, PG&E put stores of extra poles around. It turns out on Panoramic Highway, above Mill Valley, they needed one and had to replace it.

Some of the severe weather leading to the shutoffs as well as the resulting damage occurred on very large circuits that serve wide areas. So, says the utility says, even in some areas with no wind issues, power was interrupted nonetheless. 

"A transmission line can extend hundreds of miles and sometimes the terrain is treacherous, it's rocky, it's steep. But, our crews get out there and by helicopter and by foot and by drone, they inspect every inch of the line that we de-energized," said Ms. McFarland.

The utility hasn't given a definitive answer for when power will be fully restored to all areas, but as more repairs are made that will speed up the process.