OAKLAND, Calif. - Residents in parts of the North Bay and the Sierra Foothills are without electricity for a second round of PG&E power shutoffs amid forecasts of dry, hot and windy weather conditions that pose elevated risks for wildfires.
The utility announced Wednesday it would begin turning off power in 17 counties starting at 2 p.m. and initiate shutoffs in parts of the North Bay around 3 p.m.
According to the Santa Rosa Fire Department, outages started ahead of the estimated time in parts of Rincon Valley and Oakmont.
Approximately 179,000 customers will be impacted by power shutoffs late Wednesday afternoon and into early Thursday morning. PG&E hopes to restore power lines within 48 hours after high winds subside.
The electric company said it hopes to give an all-clear for power restoration by midday Thursday, but that could move into the following day.
CEO William Johnson said it appears that another round of safety shutoffs could happen over the weekend into early next week,however, the timing isn't clear. Johnson dispelled rumors that the utility would keep the power off until both wind events passed.
He underscored that the agency is pushing to have inspections complete, and lines up and running quickly as possible.
At a news conference Wednesday, Johnson expressed his concern about hostility toward PG&E workers in the field. He believes a pellet fired from a pellet gun struck a PG&E vehicle Wednesday.
"Earlier today one of our employees in Glenn county was the target of what appears to be a deliberate attack," Johnson said. "Let me say this directly: there is no justificationn for this sort of violence," he said.
"Be upset at PG&E, don't take it out on the people trying to help you," he added.
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Bay Area Counties by the Numbers
Napa County (7,533 customers)
Affected areas: St Helena, communities near the Silverado Trail: Angwin, Calistoga, Deer Park, Lake Berryessa, Napa, Oakville, Pope Valley, Rutherford, St Helena, Yountville
Sonoma County (28,460 customers)
Affected areas: Annapolis, Boyes Hot Springs, Cloverdale, Fulton, Geyserville, Glen Ellen, Guerneville, Healdsburg, Kenwood, Larkfield, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Windsor
San Mateo County (907 customers)
Affected areas: Emerald Hills, Half Moon Bay, La Honda, Loma Mar, Pescadero, Portola Valley, Rackerby, Redwood City, San Gregorio, Woodside
Bay City News contributed to this report