PG&E Cuts Power In Northern and Central California

How Will This Affect Us?

Josiah Perez, Head Editor

On Wednesday morning, October 9th, Pacific Gas and Electric shut off power to hundreds of thousands of residents in Northern and Central California to reduce the risk of electrically sparked wildfires. These regions of California are currently experiencing ideal conditions for wildfires, (high winds with dry, hot air) and our state’s largest utility company wants to take no chances.

PG&E map of areas currently experiencing a power-outage(click to view)

They issued warnings to several different counties beforehand of a, what they call, “Public Safety Power Shut Off” that would last until weather conditions were safe enough to have power returned. PG&E gradually began restoring power to its customers the day after, first sending inspection crews to survey transmission lines and check to see “if equipment is safe to resume electric delivery services.” More than half of those who had their power cut off now have it back on as of Friday afternoon. More will continue to have theirs returned as the risk of wildfires lowers in their area.

How will all of this affect us in Southern California? Utility companies can and will issue this same precautionary system should they deem our weather conditions practical for wildfires. In fact, some already have.

SoCal Edison map of areas experiencing power-outage

The Sandalwood Fire, which began in Calimesa the day after the vast shutdown by a dump truck driver destroyed multiple mobile homes and buildings, according to The Los AngelesĀ  Times. It was this fire that prompted Southern California Edison to take action. They cut power to over ten thousand residents in areas around Los Angeles County in response to its quick growth. SoCal Edison said in a statement they may even further remove power from customers in several other counties with the continuously intensifying high winds and dry weather.

In preparation, PG&E has provided basic guidelines that overview what to do both before and during a power-outage. To view what they recommend you and your family should do in the case of power loss, click here.