PG&E to make decision on outages by Saturday morning

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- PG&E officials are warning of another public safety shutoff. This could be the biggest one so far and may start as early as Saturday night.

PG&E CEO and President, Bill Johnson says it would likely impact the Peninsula, East Bay, and North Bay in the Bay Area.

"We do think that it will be the strongest offshore wind event this season by a large margin," a Scott Strenfel, PG&E meteorologist, said. "And if models are correct, possibly the strongest offshore winds that we've seen in years."

In the North Bay, residents in Sonoma County, Napa County and Marin County have reported receiving alerts about the possible shutoffs.

MAPS: Bay Area cities affected by PG&E power shutdown

In the East Bay, both Alameda County and Contra Costa County estimates thousands of residents could also power this weekend.

PG&E officials at a press conference in Friday said they have not made a decision yet but expect to make one by 8 a.m. Saturday.

If PG&E decides to go forward with the outages the Bay Area could begin losing power at 7 p.m., North Bay by 5 p.m.

Winds are forecasted to gust between 40 and 60 miles per hour over most elevated terrain in Northern California.

LIST: List of counties, cities affected by PG&E power outage in Bay Area, rest of California

Johnson says the utility is at "elevated potential" for a new shutdown in eight of the nine zones PG&E serves. Some areas may see peak gusts of 70 to 80 miles per hour.

Officials say the possible outage could stretch into Monday.

PG&E has given an "all clear" to almost all of the counties impacted by outages that began on Wednesday.

RELATED: How to prepare for PG&E power shutdowns

PG&E issued the "all clear" for all counties, except for Kern County. As of Friday evening, 99 percent of customers have had their power restored.

Approximately 178,000 customers were originality impacted by this PSPS; nearly 165,000 customers in portions of 18 counties have been restored.


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120,000 Contra Costa County residents are likely to be without power come Saturday night at 10 PM along with residents of Alameda county.

ABC7's Leslie Brinkley reports 120,000 Contra Costa County residents are likely to be without power come Saturday night at 10 PM along with residents of Alameda county.

Contra costa county supervisor John Gioia said he's worried about this outage because it will affect a much broader area and the power will be off for longer than it was last time. Also complicating it he says is the fact that air quality will be bad so people really shouldn't stay at home with their windows open. He's advising residents to find a place to escape to air-conditioning and good indoor air quality on Sunday.

Residence in the Lamorinda area are groaning "here we go again" since they already endured a power outage a few weeks ago. It will be the first time for businesses and homes to lose power in parts of Berkeley and Oakland along busy College Avenue. One restaurant owner was very angry about the pending outage. The manager of an athletic footwear store worried the lack of power will hurt their bottom line.


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If PG&E shuts the power off, farmers are worried about the well-being of their animals.

Petaluma is packed with working farms and horse stables. Many of them rely on water wells to feed the livestock.

Except that wells require a pump which needs electricity to work. If PG&E shuts the power off, farmers are worried for the well-being of their animals.

Seven horses were transported to the San Antonio Valley Stables in Petaluma, rescued in the morning hours during the Kincade Fire.

"And we have some goats over there too," told us June Lohmeyer who also boards horses on 52 acres.

At 97, Lohmeyer still makes the rounds in a golf cart. When dealing with horses on a property like this one, lesson number one is knowing how a water well operates.

"It takes electricity to use the pump to get the water from our well," explains June's daughter, Merrily Morton.

In other words without water these horses would be in a dire situation.

We asked June's daughter where exactly was that well?

"See those tress up there? See the hill up there? There's a path that goes beyond those trees and that well is way up beyond that hill," she said as she pointed toward the hills.

Up we went on a hot, dusty road to find the well with June's son, Dave Sherman. Conditions are as dry as they get. Leave it to a city slicker like me to ask why not put a generator up there.

"You could have a generator up here but then you have to think about fire from the generator because it's so dry," explained Sherman.

If PG&E cuts their power off, because of strong wind conditions, the pump will automatically shut off. They have no way to store water for the horses.

"And if they don't have water they are going to get sick and then they're going to die," said June.

The stable was not affected last time PG&E cut power to thousands of customers.

"It looks pretty ominous this time. I think it's going to go this time. I think they're going to turn it off," expressed Morton.

"And when you're through with what's in a tank, you've got no water and the same goes for me," said June.

Ironically they may have to seek help for their horses from other stables, if they end up running dry.

For the latest stories about PG&E's Public Safety Power Shutoff go here.

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