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Early Season Storm Approaching: Potential Rain and Wind is Expected to Impact Parts of Northern California starting this Weekend

The following is a press release from Pacific Gas and Electric:

[Photograph from Pixabay.com]

 Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) team of meteorologists are forecasting stormy and windy weather this weekend in parts of Northern California. PG&E is prepared and has a plan to address any outage the storm system may cause and reminds customers to take the necessary steps to be prepared and stay safe. 

While today is expected to be calm, an early season weather system is forecasted to move across Northern California Saturday morning and into Sunday resulting in rain and breezy/gusty winds. Slight Thunderstorm risk across Sacramento Valley Sunday morning is also possible.

“This storm has the potential to cause power outages due to rain and gusty winds. We’re urging our customers to have a plan to keep themselves and their families safe. Our meteorology team is closely tracking the dynamic weather conditions and are working with our operations teams in the field to ensure we’re ready to restore outages safely and as quickly as possible,” said PG&E principal meteorologist Scott Strenfel.  In addition, PG&E is prepared for the possibility of flashovers, a phenomenon that occurs with the first light rain or mist after the summer that can lead to pole fires and outages.

PG&E’s meteorology team has developed a Storm Outage Prediction Model that incorporates real-time weather forecasts, coupled with 30-years of historical storm data and system knowledge to accurately show where and when storm impacts will be most severe. This model enables the company to pre-stage crews and equipment as storms approach to enable rapid response to outages.

Storm Safety Tips

  • Never touch downed wires: If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move it—and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 9-1-1 and by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
  • Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to customers, as well as crews working on power lines. If using portable generators, be sure they are in a well-ventilated area.
  • Use flashlights, not candles: During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire. And keep extra batteries on hand. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades, animals and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
  • Have a backup phone: If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup. Having a portable charging device helps to keep your cell phone running.
  • Have fresh drinking water, ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling. Blue Ice from your picnic cooler also works well in the freezer.
  • Secure outdoor furniture: Deck furniture, lightweight yard structures and decorative lawn items should be secured as they can be blown by high winds and damage overhead power lines and property.
  • Turn off appliances: If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
  • Safely clean up: After the storm has passed, be sure to safely clean up. Never touch downed wires and always call 8-1-1 or visit 811express.com at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked.

Other tips can be found at www.pge.com/beprepared.

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