OAKLAND, Calif. - PG&E is moving forward with a Public Safety Power Shutoff on Wednesday evening that will impact more than 25,000 Bay Area customers.
PG&E began shutting off power to customers in parts of Napa, Sonoma, and Solano counties at 6 p.m. Wednesday, followed by parts of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties starting at 8 p.m.
Power may be out until 10 p.m. Friday, but some customers could have their power restored sooner.
PG&E Spokesperson Tamar Sarkissian said the shutoffs are due to the threat of high fire danger. A red flag warning is currently in effect for the majority of the Bay Area due to dry vegetation, strong winds, and hot temperatures. The PSPS event will impact 53,000 customers, including roughly 25,000 customers in the Bay Area.
“We know how difficult this is for our customers and we do not take this lightly,” Sarkissian said. “Our goal has always been to make these events smaller, shorter, and smarter for our customers.”
Several regional parks in the East Bay Hills will be closed until 11 a.m. Friday due to the red flag warning. They include Anthony Chabot, Claremont Canyon, Huckleberry, Kennedy Grove, Leona Canyon, Morgan Territory, Ohlone, Reinhardt Redwood, Roberts, Round Valley, Sibley, Sunol, Tilden, and Wildcat Cayon.
Gayle Gajus-Ramsay, a residents in the Oakland Hills, said she had been receiving alerts from PG&E for the past few days and is ready for the power to go out.
“The fact that they have to shut it off, we get that,” she said. “Yeah it's an inconvenience, but you know but it's usually 24 hours, sometimes 48 hours and again it's all about being prepared. I'm grateful PG&E is doing what they're doing.”
PG&E said it aims to restore power within 12 daylight hours of getting a “weather all clear.” Once an all clear is given, crews inspect the lines and equipment, repair any damage, and power is restored.
481,000 people in the Bay Area are preparing for another round of PG&E planned power shutoffs this weekend due to an unprecedented major wind event.
Those affected by the power shutoff will have access to PG&E-run
community resource facilities that will offer restrooms, charging
capabilities for medical equipment and electronics, Wi-Fi, bottled water and non-perishable food.
Resource center attendees are advised to follow state and local
public health policies to prevent the coronavirus' spread, including avoiding mixing of households and wearing a face covering.
WALT Wines is one of roughly 1,800 PG&E customers in Sonoma County that are set to lose power starting Wednesday.
“We will just roll with it because this is what we do in Wine Country," said Jeff Zappelli, WALT Wines general manager. "Obviously masks for everyone when they come. They're welcome to steal a mask from us, hand sanitizer, temperature gauges. We want one to feel like they're in a safe place,” Zappelli said outside the location on 1st St. West.
During the then-unprecedented shutoff in 2018, KTVU reported on customers who complained about losing food when their refrigerators went dark.
PG&E has sought to help by contributing to organizations such as the Redwood Empire Food Bank, where customers can have their food replaced.
PG&E customers can find out their anticipated shutoff status at
- Make sure you can receive PSPS alerts: (Find local health and social services during PSPS events)
- Device charging, Wi-Fi and other support: (These centers offer ADA-accessible restrooms and hand-washing stations, medical equipment charging, device charging, Wi-Fi, bottled water and snacks)
- Medical Baseline Program (For residential customers who rely on power for certain medical conditions)
- Portable Battery Program: (PBP provides no-cost backup portable batteries for eligible customers who meet the following criteria)
Bay City News contributed to this story.