Public Safety Power Shutoff

Pacific Gas and Electric Company may implement Public Safety Power Shutoff to more than 600,000 customers across portions of nearly 34 counties. PG&E cut power around 12 a.m. on Wednesday, October 9 to mitigate the risk of wildfire in several communities, with another round slated to begin at 12 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. The company is considering a third phase shutoff for southern portions of PG&E’s service area, potentially impacting another 42,000 customers.

PG&E expects peak winds from early Wednesday morning through midday on Thursday, October 10, reaching up to 80 miles per hour at higher elevations. However, the shutoff could last several days due to conditions. The company went on to state that some customers may be affected by the shutoff even though they aren’t experiencing the extreme conditions. “This is shaping up to be one of the most severe dry wind events we’ve seen in our territory in recent years and we want our customers to be prepared for an extended outage that may last several days. Our meteorological and operations teams continue to actively monitor the weather and this evolving situation, and we are working directly with state and local agencies to help prepare our customers and the public for this safety event,” said Michael Lewis, Senior Vice President, PG&E Electric Operations. “We want our customers to be aware that, based on this number, it could take several days to fully restore power after the weather passes and safety inspections are completed.”

The first phase hit 513,000 customers and the second phase is expected to impact another 234,000. Among those impacted are 16,041 customers in Pioneer, Jackson, Sutter Creek, Pine Grove, Plymouth, Volcano, Fiddletown, River Pines, Amador City, Drytown, Martell and Ione in Amador County. Additionally there will be 23,748 customers in Arnold, Angels Camp, Copperopolis, Murphys, San Andreas, West Point, Mountain Ranch, Mokelumne Hill, Rail Road Flat, Vallecito, Wilseyville, Hathaway Pines, Avery, Glencoe, Douglas Flat, Sheep Ranch, White Pines, Dorrington, Camp Connell, Tamarack, Altaville and Valley Springs in Calaveras County.

Amador County Unified School District schools may remain closed on Thursday, October 10 if the power outage continues. Additionally, residents should be prepared for an extended outage, possibly lasting up to several days. For more information on Public Safety Power Shutoffs, visit pge.com, but be aware high traffic may render the site difficult to access. Mobile phone users can receive alerts via text message, text ENROLL to 97633 and follow the prompts.

(LEDGER/David McNaughtan)