Thursday, October 24, 2019

UPDATE: OES Warns Entirety of Humboldt May Go Dark Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Oct 24, 2019 at 6:05 PM

UPDATE:
The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services is now advising that the entirety of Humboldt County is considered “in scope” for the PG&E blackout slated to begin Saturday night and all residents should be prepared to be without electricity for days.

According to OES, PG&E’s prior advisories that only 2,188 customers would be affected were based on “directly impacted local distribution lines” but failed to account for the main transmission lines into the county, which run along state routes 299 and 36. Apparently, PG&E is now anticipating those lines will be shut down, which will cut electricity to the entirety of Humboldt County, as was the case with the Oct. 8 and Oct. 9 shutdown, which spanned 28 hours and saw the entire county go dark. But this time, OES is warning that weather conditions are expected to last at least 24 hours and, once the weather clears, PG&E’s line inspections may take more time, meaning the blackout may continue into next week.

OES is advising residents to plan accordingly and warning that PG&E’s current maps and address search tool on its website are not accurate. The company will likely begin notifying affected residents tonight or tomorrow, according to OES, which urges customers to make sure PG&E has their correct contact information.

For the time being, it seems wise for every Humboldt County resident to begin preparing to spend at least several days without power beginning Saturday evening.

We’ll update with more information as it becomes available.


PREVIOUSLY:
The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services received maps from PG&E this afternoon indicating the Public Safety Power Shutoff scheduled for Saturday night may impact a much larger swath of the county than initially indicated.

According to the office, the new map “reflects virtually all populated areas of the county on the grid.”
click to enlarge The PG&E outage map released this afternoon.
  • The PG&E outage map released this afternoon.

“Without additional clarifying information available from PG&E at this time, the Sheriff’s Office advises Humboldt County residents to be prepared for the potential of an extended power outage impacting all PG&E customers,” the OES release states. “Further information received from PG&E confirming the scope of this outage, as well as timing and restoration estimates, will be provided as it becomes available.”

From OES:

PSPS Power shutoff update
Humboldt County was notified at approximately 1:00 PM today by PG&E that 2,188 customers in Humboldt were expected to have their power turned off on Saturday, October 26, as part of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event driven by gusty wind conditions forecast on Saturday evening. The attached map was provided at approximately 3:30 this afternoon, indicating a much larger area would be affected. Similar to the October 9 outage, this map reflects virtually all populated areas of the county on the grid.
Without additional clarifying information available from PG&E at this time, the Sheriff’s Office advises Humboldt County residents to be prepared for the potential of an extended power outage impacting all PG&E customers. Further information received from PG&E confirming the scope of this outage, as well as timing and restoration estimates, will be provided as it becomes available.

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Thadeus Greenson

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

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