CALISTOGA, Calif. - Power remains out for thousands of Pacific Gas and Electric customers across the Bay Area, but the utility said it is ahead of schedule in getting power restored to parts of the South and East Bay.
Thousands of customers in some of those areas thought they'd be in the were reenergized before sunset Thursday.
PG&E had given the weather all clear for parts of Santa Clara, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties.
The weather all clear means PG&E crews can begin inspecting de-energized lines by helicopter, make any repairs, and restore power as soon as possible.
As of Thursday night some 32,000 customers remained without power. In the North Bay, customers are expected to have power restored by 10:00 p.m. Friday.
Deanna Contreras, a PG&E spokesperson in the North Bay, said the utility’s weather stations reported overnight wind gusts of 65 mph at Mt. St. Helena and 60 mph near Mt. Diablo in Contra Costa County.
“We’re expecting those high winds and dangerous fire risk weather to be done Friday morning, so that’s when we’ll be able to inspect lines and turn the power back on,” Contreras said.
An estimated 5,000 customers are without power in Napa County and 1,700 customers are without power in Sonoma County.
Sarah Amador, a charter school teacher who lives in Calistoga, spent some time at a PG&E community resource center to take advantage of the backup electricity and internet.
“There’s been so many layers of stress we’ve had to go through in this community, this is just one more thing,” Amador said of the outages. “I do think, well at least I’m not running for my life and at least we’re trying to have some protections in place.”
PG&E said they have set up community resource centers around the Bay Area for anyone affected by the public safety power shutoff. The centers provide battery packs, water, and WIFI among other resources.