Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) announced late Saturday that they are declaring a Public Power Safety Shutt-off (PSPS) event beginning early Sunday morning and that they will last until Monday.
Delivering the news during a press briefing, the utility said they expected the PSPS to impact nearly 89,000 customers in 16 counties across Northern California.
In a statement released after the press conference, PG&E said that “The anticipated scope and timing of this event has changed from earlier announcements, based on updated weather forecasts that showed stronger wind gusts in a larger portion of PG&E’s service area. PG&E’s in-house meteorologists, as well as its Wildfire Safety Operation Center and Emergency Operations Center, continue to monitor conditions closely and additional notifications will be made today to customers who may be impacted by this event.”
According to the press release, portions of the following counties could be impacted by the PSPS: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Kern, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Tehama and Yuba.
PG&E estimated that power will be shut off to the impacted areas starting 2 am Sunday morning and they are expecting full restoration of power by 10 pm Monday evening. The estimated weather all-clear will be around 8 am Monday.
The statement added that “Given the expected weather conditions, PG&E began its one-day advance notifications to customers in areas where PG&E may need to proactively turn power off for safety to reduce the risk of wildfire from energized power lines.”
PG&E’s PSPS authority was granted by the Legislature, Governor, and California pUblic Utilities Commission and intended to reduce the threat of wildfire that could be sparked by lines brought down in gusting winds.