Nov 1, 2019
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) reported today that it has restored power to nearly all customers who were de-energized during the October 26 and 29 Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events.
The company acknowledged that turning off power for public safety presents a real hardship for customers and communities, but it is a necessary tool in combatting the risk of catastrophic wildfire sparked by electrical equipment during periods of extreme weather.
“We thank our customers for their patience and understanding. No one wants a PSPS, but it is necessary to protect our customers and communities,” said PG&E Corporation CEO and President Bill Johnson. “We’re also grateful to our state, county, local and tribal agency partners, the heroic first responders fighting fires and keeping our communities safe, and our PG&E employees, contractors and mutual aid support who worked around the clock to restore power safely and as quickly as possible.”
“We are immediately integrating lessons learned and listening to our customers and other stakeholders on how to improve the PSPS process,” said Andy Vesey, CEO and President of Pacific Gas and Electric, the head of utility operations. “We’re focused on continuous improvement – better coordination, better communication, minimizing the number of customers affected, and improving our support for those customers.”
Combined, nearly 1.1 million customers were impacted by the consecutive PSPS events on Oct. 26 and Oct. 29, which spanned multiple regions in PG&E’s service area. For the Oct. 26 PSPS, wind gusts topping 100 mph were recorded in Sonoma and 70 mph or more in Butte, Santa Cruz and Sierra counties. For the Oct. 29 safety shutoff, wind gusts were recorded in excess of 70 mph in Kern County and 65 mph in Sonoma County.
To date, PG&E has identified at least 156 instances of weather-related damage from the Oct. 26 and Oct. 29 power shutoffs, and the company is verifying hundreds more damage reports. These types of damages and hazards could lead to potential wildfire ignitions if power lines were not de-energized. Examples include downed lines and vegetation on power lines. PG&E will submit a report detailing the damages to the California Public Utilities Commission within 10 days of the completion of the PSPS.
At the height of the event, PG&E had 76 Community Resource Centers (CRC) open, which provided customers with restrooms, bottled water, charging stations for electronics and air-conditioned seating. More than 15,000 customers used the CRCs during the recent power safety shutoffs.
PG&E crews continue to conduct gas safety checks and restore gas service to customers in areas of Sonoma County impacted by the Kincade Fire, where evacuations have been lifted. As of 5 p.m. today (Friday, Nov. 1), gas service has been restored to approximately 6,691 customers in Cloverdale, Forestville, Geyserville, Graton, Santa Rosa (Larkfield/Wikiup), Sebastopol and Windsor. There are approximately 931 homes where PG&E has not been able to gain entry or contact customers. We will continue to be in those areas through the weekend, as well as starting to contact customers in Healdsburg.
PG&E reminds its customers that they need to provide access to Gas Service Representatives to conduct gas safety checks and relight pilot lights once gas service is restored.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California.
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