Around 21,000 PG&E customers remain without power as of midnight on Oct. 16 after it was turned off on Oct. 14 night due to high wind and fire risks in Northern California, according to PG&E officials.
PG&E spokesman Jason King said power has been restored to 38,000 of 59,000 customers who were affected and the remaining customers who are still without power should have it restored sometime today. He couldn’t confirm an official time of when all the outages would be resolved. A few thousand customers in Sonoma, Napa and Lake counties remained powerless as of midnight, according to PG&E’s website.
Improved weather conditions in the morning Oct. 15 allowed PG&E crews to patrol and inspect power lines by helicopter, vehicle, and on foot to identify any damage that occurred overnight, spokeswoman Melissa Subbotin said on Oct. 15.
But King said late Oct. 15 that the inspections weren’t fully completed yet and power lines haven’t been fully recharged.
PG&E will provide customers detailed information about their expected time of restoration.
The Public Safety Power Shutoff was in effect for an estimated 60,000 customers in Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado and Placer counties. PG&E notified 97,000 customers of the possibility that power would be turned off, but conditions did not require them all, Subbotin said.
Portions of the North Bay experienced wind speeds of over 60 mph and gusts of up to 70 mph, Subbotin said. PG&E officials said the Kirkwood area in the Sierra Nevada mountain range recorded 96 mph winds with 121 mph gusts.
PG&E’s 24/7 Wildlife Safety Operations Center and in-house meteorologists monitored the weather for several days before the decision to cut power was made. PG&E notified customers through automated phone calls, texts, social media and emails Saturday about the possible power shutoff.
The outage closed some school closures in Calistoga and other parts of the fire-risk areas.
Cal Fire announced in June that PG&E’s equipment led to many of the October fires in Northern California a year ago.