PG&E says it could cut power in 30 counties to prevent fires

Joanna Estrada
October 9, 2019

Pacific Gas and Electric Co.is warning customers that the utility may shut off power to more than 25 California counties this week because of a potentially widespread wind event.

PG&E announced they are continuing to monitor the potential of dry, strong wind planning to sweep through in the middle of the week.

The power shut-offs have generated debate, with some residents saying they create a whole new set of dangers as they try to watch for news about fires.

PG&E noted that customers in the almost 34 counties - Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Napa, Placer, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Sonoma among them - could be affected.

Since the company's power lines have caused numerous wildfires in recent years, especially during windy conditions, they have chose to turn off the power during periods of high fire danger rather than harden their infrastructure to make it resistant to strong winds.

The City of Manteca Monday emphasized that information provided by PG&E to San Joaquin County Operations of Emergency Services personnel that Manteca along with virtually all of San Joaquin County will not be impacted this time around.

As of now, it is unclear how many customers will be impacted in Kern County.

But PG&E promised to open community centers in 30 locations across the latest planned outage zone to furnish restrooms, bottled water, battery charging and air-conditioned seating during daytime hours.

Before restoring power, PG&E must inspect its equipment for damage and make any necessary repairs. According to San Francisco's ABC affiliate, the power cuts would begin early Wednesday and last through Thursday midday, the utility said, which is when wind gusts and dry air are expected across the already dry region, raising the likelihood that a wildfire could be ignited. CCHS will continue to provide services during the outage.

Update your contact information at pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-866-743-6589. If you don't understand how to use your generator, you risk damaging your property, endangering your life and endangering the lives of others.

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