The following is a press release issued by Pacific Gas and Electric Company:
With a historic series of winter storms damaging electric equipment and causing power outages, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews are mobilized throughout Northern and Central California assessing the damage and making repairs to restore power.
Over the 24 hours ending at 3 p.m. today, PG&E has safely restored power to more than 406,000 customers. As of 3 p.m., there are approximately 2,300 outages affecting 95,500 customers, with many in the North Coast, Bay Area and Central Coast areas. PG&E recognizes the urgency of restoring power and will work diligently until all customers are restored.
Hazards such as fallen trees, floods and debris flows have made gaining access difficult in some areas and could delay power restoration efforts. Additional storms are forecast over the coming week, which will likely also impact restoration times and lead to additional widespread outages.
“Our crews are out in full force restoring customers safely and as quickly as possible. We are conducting assessments of damage and prioritizing repairs with a focus on critical facilities and resolving outages that are impacting the largest number of customers. We have a short window of time to make as much progress as we can before the next weather system in this series of storms enters our service area over the weekend,” said Janisse Quiñones, PG&E’s Senior Vice President, Electric Operations.
The brunt of the atmospheric river storm hit Wednesday, bringing wind gusts over 100 mph and as much as five inches of rain in some areas. This came on the heels of an earlier series of storms, resulting in highly saturated soils that have contributed to downed trees and debris flows.
PG&E prepared for this weather and has mobilized more than 3,000 PG&E coworkers, contractors and mutual-aid personnel. Mutual aid crews from Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, Oregon, New Mexico, Utah and Washington are also supporting response efforts.
“I’d like to recognize the thousands of dedicated professionals out there working tirelessly to get the lights back on for our hometowns,” Quiñones said.
Keeping Customers Informed
Customers can view real-time outage information at PG&E’s online outage center and search by a specific address, city or county. This site has been updated to include support in 16 languages.
Additionally, customers can sign up for outage notifications by text, email, or phone. PG&E will let customers know the cause of an outage, when crews are on their way, the estimated restoration time and when power has been restored.
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 then PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
- Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should ensure 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 powerlines. 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 and ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer to prevent food spoilage.
- 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.
- 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.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.