Wednesday, October 9, 2019

3rd UPDATE: PG&E to Open ONE Local Resource Center with Water, Bathrooms During Blackout

Posted By on Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 7:40 AM

3rd UPDATE:
According to Pacific Gas and Electric spokesperson Deanna Contreras, the company will only be opening one community resource center in Humboldt County — not the two previously indicated — and it won’t be up and running until 8 a.m. tomorrow.

The center will be located at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds and will offer bottled water, restrooms and an electric charging station.

Humboldt Bay Fire is also opening up a charging station for medical and other electronic devices at its classroom at 3030 L St. in Eureka.


2nd UPDATE:
The city of Arcata has announced that Arcata House Partnership is open and will be oeffering lunch and dinner until 6 p.m. to community members in need today at its annex, located at 501 Ninth St.

Additionally, the nonprofit is partnering with the Arcata Police Department to deliver meals to community members with mobility or transportation challenges. To arrange for delivery, call Arcata House at 298-7610 or APD at 822-2424.

UPDATE:
Pacific Gas and Electric will be opening two community resource centers today, offering bottled water, restrooms and electronic device charging stations, at College of the Redwoods and Redwood Acres Faigrounds during the ongoing blackout, according to Humboldt County Deputy Administrative Officer Sean Quincey.

With Humboldt County having gone dark around 1 a.m. as a part of PG&E’s massive grid shutdown to prevent wildfires, which is impacting customers in 34 California counties, the county is holding a press conference at 10:30 a.m. to provide additional information. But Quincey told the Journal that the county will also be setting up a medical device charging station at 3030 L St. in Eureka.

Quincey urged local residents not to call 911 unless there is a critical incident or medical emergency. Additionally, the county is asking residents to conserve water and sewer service.

For those in need of supplies to get through the blackout, which is expected to last at least into tomorrow afternoon and may extend into next week, a few stores and gas stations are open this morning, running on generator power. Specifically, Target in Eureka, Murphy’s Markets in Sunny Brae and Westwood in Arcata, and Valley Grocery in Ferndale are confirmed to be open, as is Blue Lake Rancheria’s gas station near Blue Lake Casino.

The North Coast Community Blood Bank, meanwhile, is in need of donations and remains open, with bloodmobiles at Hoopa High School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Arcata Co-Op from noon to 4 p.m.

And for those needing something to get them through the blackout, EcoCann dispensary in Old Town Eureka will be open all day.

“Everything else may be closed, but this is Humboldt County!” exclaimed one excited man leaving the dispensary around 9 a.m.

Check back shortly for additional information from this morning’s press conference and scroll down below our original post to see a full press release from the county.

PREVIOUSLY:
Humboldt County went dark at around 1 a.m. today, when PG&E shut down large swaths of its power grid across 34 counties in an effort to prevent wildfires.

Tuesday afternoon and evening, local residents scurried to prepare for the shutoff, which came with little notice, as PG&E had indicated Humboldt County would not be impacted Monday, only to reverse course late Tuesday morning to say local residents should prepare to lose power. Lines of cars stretched out of gas station parking lots in McKinleyville, Eureka and Arcata, clogging intersections, and supermarket lines stretched into the aisles with residents stocking up on water and food.
click to enlarge The line for gas at Costco in Eureka stretched out of the parking lot and around the block Tuesday evening. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The line for gas at Costco in Eureka stretched out of the parking lot and around the block Tuesday evening.
St. Joseph Hospital reported this morning that both it and Redwood Memorial Hospital are up and running on generator power, with “systems functioning well overall” and caregivers “doing a wonderful job of taking care of patients in a calm and professional manner.”

Many local schools, meanwhile, have announced they will remain shuttered today, including Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods. According to the Humboldt County Office of Education, other announced closures as of 7:15 a.m. included Southern Humboldt Unified School District, Big Lagoon School District, Trinity Valley Elementary, Fuente Nueva Charter School, Pacific View Charter School, Cuddeback School District, Coastal Grove Charter School, Fortuna Elementary School District, Rio Dell School District, Trinidad School District, Scotia School District, Loleta School District, McKinleyville Unified School District and HCOE student programs, which include all Glen Paul programs at Fortuna and Peninsula.

We’ll update with more information throughout the day as the impacts of the blackout become clear.


From the county of Humboldt:

In the early hours of Wednesday, Oct. 9, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) activated its Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) protocols, which resulted in shutting off power to parts of Humboldt County. PG&E is reporting that around 60,000 customers in Humboldt County have been impacted by the shutoff. The National Weather Service expects extreme weather conditions in neighboring counties to last throughout the day and into Thursday. PG&E continues to work on efforts to restore power in Humboldt County, but there is currently no estimated time for full restoration.

Public safety is the county’s primary concern during this time. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services has been in touch with local hospitals and health care providers to take steps to protect vulnerable members of the community. Law enforcement services remain active in all parts of the county, including 911 emergency dispatch. Most administrative, non-essential county functions are expected to be closed today.

PG&E plans to open Community Resource Centers (CRC) at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds at 3750 Harris St. in Eureka and College of the Redwoods main campus at 7351 Tompkins Hill Rd. in Eureka by midday today. The CRCs will have air conditioning, water and power stations for community residents to charge medical devices and phones. The CRCs are not evacuation shelters. The City of Eureka and Humboldt Bay Fire will operate an interim “Medical Equipment Charging Station” at 3030 L St. This facility will open at noon and is expected to close when PG&E’s CRCs are open and operational.

Residents should conserve water and minimize sewer use – such as flushing toilets unnecessarily. Conservation of both water and sewer use will assist water agencies to maintain services to residents until PG&E is able to restore power.

PG&E is monitoring weather patterns and will provide updates to customers and Humboldt County when information is available.Learn more about PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs and sign up for PSPS alerts at prepareforpowerdown.com or call 1-877-9000-PGE.

Follow Sheriff’s OES Facebook for more information. facebook.com/humboldtcountyoes
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Thadeus Greenson

Bio:
Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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