PG&E, the renowned Northern California utility company, initiated emergency power shutoffs in multiple counties early on Wednesday morning. This precautionary measure was implemented in response to the intensifying winds in these areas. Starting promptly at 2 a.m., the Public Safety Power Shutoffs affected approximately 8,400 customers residing in regions deemed to be at high risk of wildfires. PG&E’s targeted power outages extended to eight counties, namely Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Napa, Shasta, Tehama, Yolo, and Butte, as well as encompassing two tribal areas—Pit River Tribes and Grindstone Rancheria.
Well-informed meteorologist, Kari Hall, provides crucial insights regarding the heat’s climactic apex and the subsequent onset of unhealthy air resulting from wildfire smoke penetrating the Bay Area, as mentioned in the Microclimate Forecast. By ensuring proactive communication, the utility had diligently notified affected customers on Tuesday, reinforcing the message hours before the power shutoffs commenced.
According to PG&E meteorologists, wind gusts measuring up to a formidable 45 mph were forecasted within the affected areas. Simultaneously, relative humidity was expected to plummet significantly to a mere 10%-20% in the expansive Sacramento Valley. Undoubtedly, such perilous weather conditions necessitated swift and decisive action by PG&E to mitigate potential risks.
Anticipating the windstorms to subside, PG&E projected that the weather “all clears” will begin materializing on Wednesday afternoon. Nonetheless, the specific time frame for each location’s clearance is contingent on varying factors. Once the weather conditions have been deemed safe, skilled electric crews will diligently inspect the de-energized power lines, identifying any compromises or damages that may endanger the subsequent restoration of power.
To facilitate access to critical information, PG&E has diligently made available an online platform where customers can effortlessly ascertain whether their addresses fall within the affected regions. Additionally, the utility’s PSPS updates page offers a wealth of information and updates for customers seeking further assistance or guidance during this period of necessary inconvenience. Now, more than ever, it is essential to prioritize the safety and well-being of our communities, and PG&E is making concerted efforts to fulfill this obligation.