PG&E Crews Out in Force Making Repairs After Offshore Windstorm Sweeps Through State, Causing Wind Hazards and Related Outages
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews have begun the process of making repairs and restoring electric service after a powerful windstorm blew through Northern and Central California Tuesday, causing wind hazards and related outages.
Weather stations within PG&E’s service area recorded wind gusts that neared 100 mph. At the Hell Hole weather station in Placer County, for instance, a 98-mph gust was recorded. In Sonoma County, maximum gusts of 97 and 96 mph were recorded at the Santa Fe Geothermal and Pine Flat Road weather stations. Stations in Contra Costa, Tuolumne, Kern, Santa Clara and Calaveras counties all had gust readings exceeding 80 mph.
Since the winds started blowing around 8 p.m. on Monday, approximately 286,000 customers lost power due to the severe weather. As of 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, power had been restored to about 208,000 customers with about 78,000 remaining out of power.
Multiple PG&E crews are working safely and as quickly as possible to assess damage and restore power. PG&E is moving crews to the most impacted locations and using helicopters to speed up restoration efforts. PG&E has more than 350 electric distribution and transmission crews, 302 electric troublemen and 65 substation switchmen working on repairs and restoration of wind-driven outages.
Meanwhile, approximately 5,000 customers in the southern portion of PG&E’s territory had their power turned off for public safety to prevent potential wildfire ignitions. The shutoffs, which started around midnight Monday, are affecting approximately 5,000 customers in Fresno, Kern, Madera, Mariposa, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Tulare counties.
As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, PG&E meteorologists had issued the “all clear” for some of the PSPS-affected circuits in Madera, Mariposa, Fresno and Tulare counties.
The weather “all clear” signal is given once the severe weather subsides and allows electric crews to begin patrolling in the air, in vehicles and on foot nearly all power lines that were de-energized. Once lines are inspected and found free of damage or hazards, PG&E can proceed with restoring power to customers. PG&E is working to restore power to all customers impacted by the PSPS by the end of the day on Wednesday.
PG&E has positioned 54 crews to begin patrols once the severe weather passes. Weather permitting, the patrols will utilize up to 12 helicopters.
Supporting customers impacted by PSPS
To support customers in the affected areas where a PSPS is happening, PG&E continues to operate Community Resource Centers (CRCs) in seven locations where community members can access resources and keep their families and their communities safe. Further information on the CRCs can be found at www.pge.com/crc.
All CRCs will follow important COVID-related health and safety protocols including:
- Everyone in a CRC is required to wear facial coverings and maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from those who are not part of the same household.
- Everyone entering an indoor CRC will receive a temperature check.
- CRC staff are trained in COVID-19 precautions and will regularly sanitize surfaces and use Plexiglass barriers at check-in.
- All CRCs will follow county and state requirements regarding COVID-19, including limits on the number of customers permitted indoors at any time.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com and www.pge.com/news.
Published at Wed, 20 Jan 2021 02:40:00 +0000