East Bay faces dangerous heat wave on holiday weekend with possible PG&E power shutoff next week for Bay Area

Luz Pena Image
Sunday, September 6, 2020
East Bay faces dangerous heat with possible power outage
PG&E issues power shutoff watch for Tuesday and Wednesday for several areas around California, including the Bay Area. So, how is the East Bay dealing with all this heat?

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) -- Amid a heat wave across the Bay Area, a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff watch has been issued for certain areas throughout the state, including all Bay Area counties on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The utility says with the heat during the Labor Day weekend, current weather models show dry conditions and offshore winds late Monday evening through Wednesday morning. PG&E says this could create dangerous fire conditions which is why a power shutoff could occur.

PG&E says geographic zones two, three, four, five and eight are under its power shufoff watch.

Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma counties are under zone three.

Alameda, Contra Costa, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma are under zone four.

So before the possible power shutoff early next week, ABC7 News' Luz Peña went to Pleasanton on Saturday, as it's not the labor day holiday weekend that anyone pictured. But then again, the last six months have been far from that.

"You can't catch a break between the lightning and the heat wave, the fires and it's like what is happening? It's crazy," said Conner Close, manager of Gay 90's Pizza Company in Pleasanton.

Now adding to the list: the second heat wave of the year.

"We had a heat wave a couple of weeks ago as well. We can't really catch a break in the Bay," said Oakland resident, Brandi Witcher.

RELATED: Major heat wave coming to Bay Area for Labor Day weekend: Here's how hot it will be

Temperatures are expected to hit 112 degrees in Pleasanton on Sunday. And it was 106 degrees on Saturday. This heat is exactly what's keeping many people away from outdoor dining.

"Not a lot of people want to eat outside. It's very quiet. We typically have a really heavy takeout business and people are coming and picking it up to go home but now with the heat wave even that has dwindle," said Close.

Many businesses were hoping the holiday weekend would be their saving grace with outdoor dining but high temperatures are changing these plans.

"Not all the locations in this area have fans and even then they are just blowing hot air at you," said Concord resident, Melissa Rivera.

High temperatures have prompted a PG&E public safety power shutoff watch for several areas through the stated on Tuesday and Wednesday.

RELATED: 3 Bay Area cities poised to break 100-year-old heat records

"Right now no power public safety power shutoffs, PSPS events has been called. No specific areas have been pinpointed. No customers at this point have been notified," said PG&E's spokesperson Katie Allen.

But the potential of the grid operator calling for rolling outages is still there.

"We have a very short notification window so if an emergency does occur with the states grid operator we do have to pull those customers off," said Allen.

Many things are out of our hands but we can do is reduce energy use from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. through Monday. And hopefully we will finally "catch a break."

The National Weather Service has issued several Fire Weather Watches across the territory (all Bay Area counties), which are likely to be upgraded to Red Flag Warnings as the event gets closer, the utility says.

A Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) is when high temperatures, extreme dryness and record-high winds have created conditions for a major wildfire. Therefore, it might be necessary for PG&E to turn off electricity for the safety of consumers.