NAPA, Calif. - Pacific Gas and Electric turned off power in targeted parts of 15 counties starting Wednesday evening and the outages were still underway on Thursday morning.
The public safety power shutoff includes five Bay Area counties. As many as 4,204 Bay Area customers will be affected.
The severe wind event is expected to ramp up overnight Wednesday and last through Friday morning.
While having no power is an inconvenience, Ryan Eising of Milpitas said it's worth it if shutting off PG&E lines prevent fires.
"I mean if the hills catch on fire and there is smoke, I would way rather lose power for a couple of hours than having me breathing crappy air for hours and days," he said.
Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties will all be impacted in the PG&E power shutoffs. Napa by far, suffers the brunt of the outages with as many as 3,296 customers who will see their power shut off. Other Bay Area counties will see a less severe impact with numbers of customers affected at around a couple hundred.
The total amount of customers impacted in all 15 counties is approximately 37,000. PG&E says this is 31% fewer than originally expected. Solano County had initially been listed as having potential outages, but has been spared from this latest PSPS.
The utility said the outages are necessary as a safety precaution to prevent wildfires due to low humidity and dry conditions.
PG&E said they notified customers of the outages Wednesday afternoon.
The de-energization process will continue throughout the evening, depending upon location, across the Sacramento Valley, Northern Sierra, and elevated terrain of the North and East Bay.
Twenty one community resource centers provided by PG&E will be open from 7 p.m. Wednesday until 10 p.m. All of the centers will operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. through the event. These temporary centers will be open to customers when power is out at their homes and will provide ADA-accessible restrooms, hand-washing stations, medical-equipment charging, WiFi; bottled water, grab-and-go bags and non-perishable snacks.
Check here for CRC information.
Once the weather clears on Friday, PG&E will patrol the lines to determine if there was any damage from the wind event. If they can, they will begin restoring power. Their goal is to re-energize in stages. Customers should see power back on within 12 daylight hours after the severe weather has passed.
- Alameda County: 336 customers, 16 Medical Baseline customers
- Contra Costa County: 201 customers, 10 Medical Baseline customers
- Napa County: 3,296 customers, 120 Medical Baseline customers
- Santa Clara County: 236 customers, 9 Medical Baseline customers
- Sonoma County: 135 customers, 5 Medical Baseline customers