PG&E Power Shutoffs: Power restored to 'essentially all customers,' utility says

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Saturday, October 17, 2020
PG&E turning back on power by Friday evening, utility says
PG&E is in the process of restoring power to tens of thousands of customers who had their electricity cut off two days ago as part of a PSPS event designed to prevent fires from igniting in high winds.

WALNUT CREEK (KGO) -- PG&E announced Friday evening that power has been restored to "essentially all customers who can receive electric service," after their Public Safety Power Shutoff that began Wednesday.

The shutoff was designed to prevent fires from igniting in high winds.

RELATED: MAP: PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs impact thousands in 24 Calf. counties

While the Red Flag Warning has been extended to Saturday morning, PG&E says that didn't affect their plans to restore power to all of their customers by 10 p.m. Friday night.

After issuing the "weather all clear" for all remaining areas of the PSPS footprint, the majority of the remaining 31,000 customers affected by this PSPS event were restored by early Friday evening, PG&E said.

"More than 1,200 PG&E employees have been working on the ground or in 47 helicopters inspecting about 3,200 miles of lines for damage or hazards," the utility said.

By 3 p.m., 100-percent of customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties have been restored, while Santa Clara County is at 99 percent, Solano County is at 94 percent, San Mateo County is at 71 percent, Sonoma County is at 60 percent and Napa County is at 32 percent.

MORE: Find out if you'll be impacted by PSPS here

Power for all customers in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties has been restored as well

The Rubenstein family bought a small generator last year to be better prepared for these PSPS events. ABC7 news visited them just before things did go dark at their house in far east Walnut Creek at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night. They expected power to be restored by 10 p.m. Friday night. But PG&E texted them with some unexpected good news, saying their power is being restored at 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Homeowner Gigi Rubenstein said "When it came back on it was hooray and we cleaned up all the wiring and cables to keep the refrigerators running and get the internet on so the kids can be in school but having a blowout at 9:30 at night when we're not prepared that's the real hardship."

RELATED: North Bay residents hope for early relief on third day of PG&E power shutoff

Out of the blue the power suddenly blacked out for a second time at 9:30 Thursday night leaving them scrambling in the dark to re-start the generator.

PG&E said they're striving to get power turned back on quickly, 50% faster than last year. Some areas closer to bay were restored first.

RELATED: Bay Area residents feel burden of PG&E shutoffs as some remain in the dark in North, South Bay

PG&E is still working on outages further east from Walnut Creek to Danville to Dublin.

"We have received the weather all clear which means we are in the process of patrolling our lines and inspecting for any damage and the next step would be turning our customers back on," said Tamar Sarkissian, a PG&E Spokesperson.

1,000 PG&E workers are on the ground inspecting and a fleet of helicopters is in the air.

"Last year we had 35 helicopters available. This year we have 65 available," Sarkissian said.

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