As Major Offshore Windstorm Approaches, PG&E Prepares for Potential Widespread, Wind-Driven Outages Throughout Its Service Area and Potential for Targeted Public Safety Power Shutoffs in Small Portions of the Driest Locations
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) continues to monitor and prepare for a powerful, offshore weather event expected to bring the risk of potential widespread wind-driven damage and related outages throughout the company’s service area. PG&E’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is open and the company’s meteorologists are monitoring conditions.
In locations still enduring extremely dry winter conditions, PG&E has notified a targeted number of customers (6,100) in small portions of Fresno, Kern, Madera, Mariposa and Tulare counties about a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Monday night. Approximately 15,000 customers and four counties were removed from a potential PSPS scope overnight. Those customers who will no longer be impacted by a PSPS are being notified about their updated status.
Due to recent rains, relatively high humidity levels and the lack of any Red Flag Warnings in the Bay Area and some other parts of PG&E’s service area, the company does not anticipate the need for a PSPS in any Bay Area counties during this weather event.
In addition, PG&E’s network of 340 weather cameras across the service area, as well as visual checks by crews in the field, helps the company determine where vegetation has greened up to levels that help make PSPS events unnecessary.
Potential effects associated with the system will vary across PG&E’s service territory and could include:
- Potential for widespread wind and weather-related outage activity due to flying debris and downed power lines throughout the service territory.
- Potential for small, targeted Public Safety Power Shutoffs in parts of the service area where vegetation is extremely dry due to lack of seasonal rain.
Forecasts show high-risk conditions arriving Monday evening in the southern portion of PG&E’s service area, with high winds expected to subside by Wednesday morning. Before any PSPS restoration begins, PG&E will inspect de-energized lines to ensure they were not damaged by high winds. PG&E will restore power safely and as quickly as possible once the weather all-clear is given.
There is still uncertainty regarding the strength and timing of this wind event, which PG&E is carefully monitoring. Weather conditions can change quickly. We remind our customers to have an emergency plan and make sure we have up-to-date contact information.
Potential for Wind Damage Across PG&E’s Service Area
The offshore weather event is expected to produce damaging winds across much of California beginning today and extending into early next week. While there may not be a PSPS due to recent rainfall in many parts of PG&E’s service area, there could be wires down and outages due to flying debris and vegetation.