OAKLAND, Calif. - Pacific Gas and Electric is expecting another Public Safety Power Shutoff event midweek due to high winds and dry conditions, the utility announced on Monday. The outages could impact as many as 50,000 customers statewide and includes most Bay Area counties.
PG&E's preemptive shutoffs have been a recurring event during the state's increasingly prolonged and dangerous fire season and are a safety precaution to help prevent damage to the electrical system, which have in the past, sparked wildfires.
The shutoffs target portions of 21 counties total including; Contra Costa, Alameda, Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Santa Clara, and San Mateo. Napa County takes the brunt of the outages with 9,230 customers potentially affected. As many as 22,869 Bay Area customers could be in the dark by Wednesday.
Another 1,100 in Monterey County and 1,700 in Santa Cruz County may be affected as well.
The forecasted windy conditions, which are prompting the potential power shutoff, are expected to subside Thursday morning in some places and Friday morning in others.
PG&E crews will be aiming to restore power to all customers within 12 daylight hours after the winds die down.
A fire weather watch, issued by the National Weather Service Monday afternoon, is in effect starting Wednesday at 5 a.m. until Friday at 11 a.m. Areas included in the watch are the North Bay Mountains, Santa Cruz Mountains, East Bay Hills and the Diablo Range, Southern Sacramento Valley in Yolo/Sacramento/Far Western Placer/Southern Sutter and Solano County below 1000 ft., but excludes the Delta.
Bay City News contributed to this story.