PG&E threatens to cut power to 2.5 million people over ‘historic wind event’ as nine fires burn across California and the company admits it may have sparked blazes

Saturday, October 26, 2019
By Paul Martin

PG&E announced that 850,00 households, or 2.5 million people, could lose power this weekend amid a ‘historic wind event’
Cuts could begin at 3pm on Saturday and last for at least two days
The potentially affected areas are the Northern Sierra Foothills, North Bay/Mendocino, the Bay Area/ Central Coast/ South Sierra Foothills and Kern County
Winds are expected to reach 70mph this weekend
California governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Sonoma and Los Angeles counties
He said of PG&E: ‘They simply did not do their job. We will hold them accountable. This cannot continue’
The utility company say up to 2.1 million people in Northern and Central California could lose power
A PG&E high-voltage power line malfunctioned minutes before a Northern California wildfire broke out
2,000 people have been evacuated, 49 homes have been destroyed and 21,900 acres have been burned
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said just five percent of the fire has been contained
There are currently nine active wildfires in California including the Cabrillo Fire, Kincade Fire, Muir Fire and Nelson Fire in the north; and the Mines Fire, Saddle Ridge Fire and Tick Fire in the south

26 October 2019

Pacific Gas & Electric announced they may cut power to around 850,000 homes – or 2.5 million people – across 36 counties over the weekend.

PG&E Corporation CEO and President Bill Johnson tried to reassure customers that the company was taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of Californians.

‘We understand that a longer shutoff would be very difficult for our customers. We are already working to minimize the length, including amassing a force of field personnel from PG&E, plus contractors and other utility companies, to be ready to tackle the inspection, repair and restoration process as soon as the weather passes,’ he said in a statement.

PG&E cites the ‘historic wind event’ set to hit the state this weekend as the main reason for the additional power cuts.

On Saturday evening, the Diablo winds are expected to pick up and will last until at least Monday morning.

Dave King, meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Monterey office told the LA times that the event was ‘historic’.

‘This is definitely an event that we’re calling historic and extreme. What’s making this event really substantial and historic is the amount of time that these winds are going to remain.’

Winds are expected to reach up to 70mph in the mountains and the high winds could potentially cause an electrical system to spark, causing a fire to set ablaze in dry bush.

‘The upcoming wind event has the potential to be one of the strongest in the last several years. It’s also likely to be longer than recent wind events, which have lasted about 12 hours or less,’ PG&E meteorologist Scott Strenfel.

According to an announcement from the utility company, 12 counties in the Northern Sierra foothills could lose power by as early as 3pm Saturday and five counties in the North Bay area could be without power by 5pm Saturday.

A staggering 15 counties could without power around 7pm on Saturday in the Bay Area, Central Coast and Sierra Foothills.

Finally, Kern county could is potentially scheduled for 11am on Sunday.

Residents are still waiting on an official announcement from PG&E.

The Rest…HERE

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