Pacific Gas and Electric Company confirmed Monday night that a fourth Public Safety Power Shutoff will begin on Tuesday, October 29. The upcoming PSPS will affect 240,000 to 600,000 customers across 29 counties depending on several variables. Of those affected by the current PSPS, 375,000 customers had been restored by 5:00 p.m. Monday evening, however, others remain without power and will likely remain without power through the next PSPS. PG&E officials stated some of the customers who received their power back will also be impacted again Tuesday.
“We will not roll dice when it comes to public safety,” stated PG&E President and CEO Andrew Vesey.
Vesey went on to state the utility will continue to work on restoring customers ahead of Tuesday’s event, but urged everyone to be prepared. Many local businesses were forced to close due to the shutoffs, leaving a noticeable void through Amador and Calaveras Counties. However, several gas stations were crowded with people trying to re-fuel before the next shutoff. Safeway was also crowded with people trying to stock up, get food and grab morning caffeine.
Counties affected by the upcoming PSPS will likely include Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba. Tuesday’s PSPS should be “all clear” by midday on Wednesday, after which the utility will be able to begin inspections to restore power.
Utility crews have been inspecting lines and repairing wind-related damage since receiving the all-clear Monday morning and have found 50 reports of damage so far. Approximately 970,000 customers in portions of 37 counties were impacted by shutoffs from the last PSPS. An additional 100,000 customers lost power due to wind-related outages on the system in areas that were not part of the PSPS area. Approximately 65,000 those customers had been restored as of 4 p.m. Monday.
Vesey also stated PG&E workers were still receiving threats and being harassed. He urged the public not to take out their frustrations on personnel on the front lines. Vesey indicated workers know not to work in areas they don’t feel safe and stated, “they will step back.” He also indicated out-of-state help would likely not come if they felt threatened.