PG&E restores more than 350,000 customers after the first storm of the week
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Thousands of contract and PG&E workers deployed in response to today’s second storm
Ongoing adverse weather conditions and access issues due to light snow delaying catering for some clients in the hardest hit areas
SAN FRANCISCO – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Teams from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) have restored almost all of the customers who lost power as a result of the storm that hit the north and the central California earlier this week. As PG&E continues to assess damage, make repairs and restore service safely to remaining customers, crews are ready to respond to a second storm moving through northern and central California.
Since the start of this series of storms on Sunday, PG&E has restored power to more than 350,000 customers. Until yesterday, power had been restored to more than 91% of customers in six hours or less. Overall, around 15,000 customers remain without power, of which around 11,000 are linked to outages that occurred with the onset of today’s second storm.
While most of the customers who lost power in the first storm have been restored, heavy snow, avalanche warnings, road closures, downed trees and fallen branches, and other issues. access hamper the ability of PG&E teams to carry out repairs in certain areas. Additionally, the current storm sweeping through northern and central California could hamper restoration efforts and lead to additional blackouts.
The current storm is not expected to be as strong as the first, but is still expected to bring low elevation snow to the Northern Coast Range and Sierra Nevada regions as it moves through the PG&E service area tonight and Thursday. The PG&E weather team is forecasting peak gusts of 30 to 45 mph across the state, reaching as far south as the Santa Cruz Range and Merced County.
This week’s winter storms damaged PG&E infrastructure throughout the service area, with 125 poles, 174 transformers, 866 cable spans and 163 ties requiring repair or replacement. The impacts were greatest in the Sierra, in the Santa Cruz Mountains and other areas of the central coast and north in Humboldt and Mendocino counties.
This week, PG&E has 332 multi-person restoration crews on hand to make repairs and restore power. In addition, 322 disruptors are on duty, who are the first responders to the utility in the event of an outage, and 431 vegetation management officers who work to keep trees away from power lines.
A total of 2,154 colleagues and contractors have boots on the ground in response to inclement weather. In addition, hundreds of other PG&E employees occupied emergency centers and performed other tasks related to storm response.
Keep customers informed
PG&E understands the importance of keeping its customers informed. Customers can view real-time outage information on its website outage center and search by specific address, city or county. This site has been updated to include language support for 16 languages.
Additionally, customers can sign up to receive outage notifications by text, email, or phone. PG&E will notify customers of the cause of an outage, when crews are on their way, estimated recovery time, and when power is restored.
Storm safety tips
- Never touch the fallen threads: If you see a downed power line, assume it is live and extremely dangerous. Do not touch it or try to move it and keep children and animals away. Immediately report power line outages by dialing 9-1-1 and calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
- Gas and electricity security in the event of a flood. If a customer’s home or business is threatened by rising water, turn off all gas appliances or turn off the valves on gas appliances a quarter of a turn. If you are unable to shut off gas appliances, shut off your gas service at the meter using a wrench or other suitable tool to give the valve a quarter turn, back and forth, until it clicks. is perpendicular to the pipe. To shut off the electricity, locate the main switch on the electrical panel and turn off the switch. Never touch electrical equipment with wet hands or while standing in water. Once the flood waters recede, PG&E will restore gas and electricity service to the community. When returning home, customers should not attempt to turn on their gas or electricity. They should contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to request that their services be restored.
- Use generators safely: Customers with emergency power generators should ensure that they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well ventilated area. Incorrectly installed generators represent a significant danger for customers, as well as for crews working on power lines. If you are using portable generators, make sure they are in a well ventilated area.
- Use flashlights, not candles: During a power outage, use battery-powered flashlights, not candles, due to the risk of fire. And keep extra batteries on hand. If you must use candles, please keep them away from curtains, lampshades, animals and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
- Have an emergency phone: If you have a phone system that requires electricity to operate, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard phone or cell phone ready as a backup. Having a portable charger helps keep your cell phone running.
- Have fresh drinking water, ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make ice packs that can be placed in your fridge / freezer during an outage to keep food from spoiling. Blue ice from your picnic cooler also works well in the freezer.
- Secure outdoor furniture: Patio furniture, lightweight garden structures, and decorative lawn items should be secured as they can be blown by high winds and damage overhead power lines and property.
- Turn off the devices: In the event of a fault, unplug or turn off all electrical devices to avoid overloading circuits and to avoid the risk of fire when power is restored. Just leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn on your devices one by one when conditions return to normal.
- Clean safely: After the storm has passed, be sure to clean up safely. Never touch fallen wires and always call 8-1-1 or visit 811express.com at least two full business days before digging to ensure all underground utilities are safely marked.
Further tips are available at www.pge.com/beprepared.
PG&E, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is a combined natural gas and electricity utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in northern and central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.
Source: Pacific Gas and Electric Company