The warning for power outages are due to a forecast of an “offshore dry wind event,” the utility said Sunday morning. Residents in more than 20 counties were warned on Sunday and the agency says the potential PSPS event would not go into effect until Monday evening at 9 p.m.
Napa and Sonoma counties are included on both Monday and Tuesday because the areas are further subdivided in each region, PG&E officials say. The two counties include 23,000 customers and the utility intends to begin deenergization at 3 a.m.
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 customer notifications will be shared.
Scott Strenfel, Meteorology Operations with PG&E says the “potentially severe weather event” will feature up to 20 to 30 mph winds with gusts up to 50 mph. The wind conditions during the heat wave pose potential fire danger.
In the Bay Area, Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties are included in the potential power shutoff.
Here’s a list of counties that may be affected:
- Alpine County: 572 customers, including 6 medical baseline customers, in unincorporated areas
- Amador County: 5,319 customers, including 380 medical baseline customers, in unincorporated areas
- Butte County: 12,934 customers, including 1,079 medical baseline customers, in Butte Meadows, Chico, Oroville, Paradise and unincorporated areas
- Calaveras County: 13,387 customers, including 590 medical baseline customers, in unincorporated areas
- El Dorado County: 24,388 customers, including 1,534 medical baseline customers, in Greenwood, Kelsey, Placerville and unincorporated areas
- Humboldt County: 4,207 customers, including 165 medical baseline customers, in unincorporated areas
- Kern County: 638 customers, including 32 medical baseline customers, in Bakersfield and unincorporated areas
- Lake County: 24 customers, including 0 medical baseline customers, in unincorporated areas
- Mariposa County: 9 customers, including 0 medical baseline customers, in unincorporated areas
- Napa County: 5,018 customers, including 173 medical baseline customers, in Calistoga, Saint Helena and unincorporated areas
- Nevada County: 23,305 customers, including 1,225 medical baseline customers, in Grass Valley, Nevada City and unincorporated areas
- Placer County: 4,627 customers, including 299 medical baseline customers, in Loomis and unincorporated areas
- Plumas: 4,105 customers, including 188 medical baseline customers, in unincorporated areas
- Shasta County: 4,864 customers, including 347 medical baseline customers, in unincorporated areas
- Sierra County: 1,098 customers, including 20 medical baseline customers, in unincorporated area
- Sonoma County: 17,686 customers, including 1,120 medical baseline customers, in Santa Rosa and unincorporated areas
- Siskiyou County: 56 customers, including 0 medical baseline customers, unincorporated areas
- Tehama County: 1,224 customers, including 55 medical baseline customers, in unincorporated areas
- Trinity County: 1,413 customers, including 73 medical baseline customers, in unincorporated areas
- Tuolumne County: 29,886 customers, including 2,112 medical baseline customers, in Groveland, Sonora, Tuolumne and unincorporated areas
- Yuba County: 2,395 customers, including 183 medical baseline customers, in unincorporated areas
Customers can look up their address online to find out if their location is being monitored for the potential safety shutoff here.
PG&E says customers will be notified approximately 48 hours, 24 hours and prior to the potential shutoff. Officials say 48 hours is a “reasonal confidence” to give the footprint of a possible power shutoff.
47 Community Resource Centers will be open across 17 counties starting on Tuesday. The centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and reflect COVID-19 heath guidelies. Customers can go to the center for device charging, up to date information and water and snacks. Find a center near you here.
VIDEO: What is a Flex Alert?
The PSPS follows a statewide Flex Alert amid heat wave, asking Californians to conserve power in an effort to avoid rolling blackouts over Labor Day weekend.
The Flex Alert is in effect Saturday through Monday, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. each day.
With record-high temperatures between 95 and 110 degrees around the Bay Area – and even hotter elsewhere in the state – there’s expected to be a greater demand for power, with everyone staying indoors and blasting the AC. Overnight temperatures are also supposed to be about 10 degrees higher than normal, according to California ISO, which doesn’t allow infrastructure the time it needs to fully cool down.
Governor Gavin Newsom even signed an emergency proclamation to free up additional energy capacity amid extreme temperatures across California. The proclamation permits power plants to generate more power by suspending certain permitting requirements, helping to alleviate the heat-induced demands on the state’s energy grid.
That’s why state officials and utility companies like PG&E are asking people to reduce energy use whenever possible during the peak afternoon and evening hours. If the projected power use exceeds the state’s power grid, PG&E may be forced to shut off power to neighborhoods using rolling blackouts, as was deemed necessary in the heat wave we saw in early August.
“As of Thursday morning, CAISO has given no indication of a need for rotating outages like those experienced by Californians last month,” said PG&E in a press release. That being said, heat-related power outages could still occur if equipment gets overheated, a spokesperson told ABC7 News.
PG&E spokesperson Deanna Contreras told ABC7 the focus right now is on conservation.
“Every little bit from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. will help reduce the chances of CALISO preparing for those rolling outages,” said Contreras.
California ISO is asking people to reduce energy consumption by:
- Setting the thermostat to 78 degrees
- Turning off unnecessary lights
- Using large appliances like washers and dryers during off-peak hours
- Close blinds and drapes to keep rooms cool
- “Pre-cool” homes overnight so they don’t need as much energy to cool during the day
- Use fans instead of AC when possible
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