Sunday, October 27, 2019

'All Clear' Given to Begin Checking HumCo Power Lines as Another Blackout Looms Tuesday

Posted By on Sun, Oct 27, 2019 at 2:45 PM

The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services is reporting that PG&E has indicated that portions of Humboldt County have received the “all clear,” meaning weather conditions no longer pose an elevated fire risk, allowing the company to being inspecting its lines in an effort to restore power, a process that could still take some days.

PG&E has not, however, indicated which portions of the county have been deemed all clear.

The company has also warned that another weather event with elevated fire risks is forecast to hit early Tuesday morning and stretch into Thursday, which may result in another shutdown. OES warns that this means even if local PG&E customers see power restored in the coming days, it may be cut again a short time later.


“Based on PG&E’s latest information, we expect a small window of time between restoration from the current outage before powering down again on Tuesday,” the OES release states.

During the window of power restoration, if there is one, residents are urged to restock emergency supplies, charge electronic devices, make arrangements for medical needs and sign up for ALERT at Humboldtgov.org/alerts. Local residents should also follow @HumboldtOES on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information, including the status and locations of community resource centers.

Another blackout Tuesday would be the third this month, after power was shut off for 28 hours on Oct. 8 into Oct. 9, which was followed by the current shutdown that began impacting Humboldt County at 9:30 p.m. yesterday.

All of this information, OES advises, is being provided by PG&E and is subject to change.

Check our previous coverage for information about meal programs, community resource centers, as well as open grocery stores, medical supply companies and pharmacies. And a list of Humboldt County school closures for tomorrow can be found here.

See the latest releases from the county and PG&E copied below.

From the county:
PG&E power outage UPDATE and NEW PSPS info
PG&E notified Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services (OES) that portions of Humboldt County have been given the “All clear” for the weather event and will begin the restoration process as soon as conditions allow. No further details regarding locations or time estimates were provided.

PG&E also notified OES that another weather event is scheduled for Tuesday 10-29-19 at 6 am which will also result in a possible Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). PG&E is still attempting to restore power before that weather event arrives. Based on PG&E’s latest information, we expect a small window of time between restoration from the current outage before powering down again on Tuesday.

During the window of power restoration, Humboldt County residents are encouraged to:

a. Restock emergency supplies including medication, food, water, fuel, etc.

b. Charge all devices

c. Make arrangements for medical needs

d. Sign up for Humboldt ALERT at humboldtgov.org/alerts

e. Follow @HumboldtCountyOES on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information

As always, this information from PG&E is subject to change. Updates will be provided as soon as they become available.

To learn more about PSPS, go to pge.com/prepareforpowerdown or by calling 1-877-9000-PGE. Sign up to receive location-specific emergency information through Humboldt ALERTs at humboldtgov.org/alerts. Follow Sheriff’s OES on Facebook for the most recent updates. www.facebook.com/HumboldtCountyOES/


From PG&E:
PG&E is Monitoring a Third Consecutive Severe Wind Event for Tuesday and Wednesday that Could Impact Nearly 32 Counties Across Northern and Central California



Northern Operative Predictive Services Issued High Risk of Significant Fires in Area Covering PG&E Service Area



PG&E’s Emergency Operations Center Continues to Be Open and Is Monitoring the Situation



Some Customers May Experience Continuous Outages



PG&E Community Resource Centers in Key Areas to Remain Open



SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced today that its meteorological and operations teams in its Emergency Operations Center continue to monitor a new, potentially widespread, strong and dry wind event forecasted for Tuesday morning through midday Wednesday for Northern California. The weather system is forecast to impact Kern County late Tuesday night through Thursday morning.



Potential Tuesday/Wednesday Public Safety Power Shutoff

The event will impact approximately 32 counties across the Northern and Southern Sierra, North Bay, Bay Area and Santa Cruz mountains, North Coast and Kern County. This weather event is a separate system from the one that triggered the October 26 Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event that is still active. This is the third consecutive significant wind event in a week’s time.



In response to this anticipated event, Northern Operative Predictive Services has issued a high risk of significant fires for a geographical footprint that covers much of PG&E’s service area. The National Interagency Fire Center’s Geographic Area Coordination Center is also forecasting significant fire potential across Northern California beginning on Tuesday of this week.



Potential Impact

Due to the forecasted extreme weather conditions, PG&E is considering proactively turning off power for safety. Portions of counties that may be impacted include, but are not limited to: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, Yuba.



It is important to know that while customers in portions of these counties may be impacted by PSPS, all customers need to be prepared for potential outages due to equipment damage, hazards and continuously evolving weather.



Potential PSPS Timing

The period of weather risk starts Tuesday and continues through Thursday morning. The dry, windy weather pattern is expected to reach from the northern portions of PG&E’s service territory and down through the Sacramento Valley, before spreading into the central areas of the state, including the Bay Area.



PG&E will make every effort to restore power to as many customers as possible who are currently out of power due to the Oct. 26 PSPS event. However, due to the dynamic and changing weather conditions, and high fire risk, some customers who are currently out of power may remain out throughout the duration of the next potential PSPS event.



For those customers able to have their power restored between events, PG&E urges them to use the opportunity to charge any medical equipment, phones and other electronic devices and restock emergency kits.



Some customers may continue to be impacted by the PSPS event, while others may experience power outages due to weather damage to the electric system.



PG&E will continue to monitor weather conditions and will be providing additional information regarding affected areas.



PG&E Community Resource Centers

PG&E will provide Community Resource Centers in key areas that may have continuing impacts due to the Oct. 26 PSPS event and the potential new event. To view the current list, click here.



How Customers Can Prepare

As part of PSPS preparedness efforts, PG&E is asking customers to:

Update their contact information at pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-866-743-6589. PG&E will use this information to alert customers through automated calls, texts, and emails, when possible, prior to, and during, a PSPS.
Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.
Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
Keep in mind family members who are elderly, younger children and pets. Information and tips including a safety plan checklist are available at pge.com/wildfiresafety.
Learn more about wildfire risk and what to do before, during and after an emergency to keep your family safe at PG&E’s Safety Action Center.
While customers in high fire-threat areas are more likely to be affected by a Public Safety Power Shutoff event, any of PG&E's more than 5 million electric customers could have their power shut off because the energy system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions.

Generator Safety

Backup electric generators can be a part of any preparedness plan, but they can also pose unique safety hazards.



It’s important to understand how to safely operate your generator before an emergency occurs. This means doing regular safety checks and being sure you have enough fuel to last a few days. If you don’t understand how to use your generator, you risk damaging your property, endangering your life and endangering the lives of others.

Position your generator where its exhaust can vent safely to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal. Never run a portable generator in the garage or in the rain, and never store generator fuel in the house.



Additional tips on the safe use of generators can be found at PG&E’s Safety Action Center at www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com.



About PG&E

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.

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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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