Monday , February 17 2020
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PG & E Plans Power Outage for 264,000 Customers in Northern California

In the now-known warning, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. notified hundreds of thousands of customers on Monday that it could turn off power in dry and windy climates, which increases the risk of fire.

Utility said that 303,000 customers in 25 counties in the foothills of the Sierra and the northern Gulf – including the counties of Alameda, Butte, El Dorado, Marine, Mendosino and Yuba – could be without electricity starting Wednesday morning.

“PG & E will safely recover electricity in stages, as quickly as possible, in order to restore most consumers by the end of the day on Thursday based on current weather conditions,” the utility said.

According to the National Weather Service, the increased fire hazard is due to the low pressure system dropping into the bay area and southern California, resulting in gusts of 30 to 55 mph and dry weather in Northern California.

The utility said it would open resource centers with toilets, bottled water, air conditioning and charging devices in places where electricity could be turned off.

A potential blackout is the latest in several PG & E warning strikes in an attempt to prevent fires caused by their electrical equipment. Despite all efforts, the utility informed the California Public Utilities Commission that it had detected activity or equipment failure in some fires that had ignited in the past few months, including the Kincaid fire, which had grown to over 75,000 acres.

Local residents and government officials continue to scrutinize PG&E for massive outages. California regulators have launched a formal investigation of proactive blackouts, and Governor Gavin Newsome has threatened to turn the utility into a consumer-owned cooperative run by the state and local governments.

“They just didn't do their job,” Newsom said at a news conference when a massive Kincade fire burned out in dozens of homes. “It took us decades to get here, but we will get out of this mess. We will do our best to restructure PG&E so that they become a completely different company when they go out of bankruptcy. Mark my words. This is a new day of responsibility. ”

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