Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is about to preemptively turn off people’s electricity throughout California in anticipation of what the company says is an upcoming “severe wind event” – and for some customers, this intentional power outage could last upwards of a week.
According to reports, PG&E’s planned blackouts will begin in the early morning hours of October 8, and will affect as many as 800,000 PG&E customers in 34 northern, central, and coastal counties throughout the Golden State.
Another 100,000 Southern California Edison customers in eight SoCal counties will also reportedly be affected by these planned blackouts, as electric officials insist that this drastic move is necessary to “prevent wildfires” and keep people “safe.”
“What we’re working on right now is determining if and where we’ll need to turn off power in the interest of public safety,” stated PG&E spokesman Jason King to The Weather Channel, noting that only “portions” of the counties where it provides electric service will be affected.
“Our meteorology and our operations teams are monitoring conditions in real time,” he added. “(A) determination hasn’t (been) made yet what portions of each of the counties will be turned off.”
Last weekend, 10,300 PG&E customers in Butte, Plumas, and Yuba counties were without power as part of a preliminary planned blackout leading up to this much larger one. Over the next few days, many more will experience the same.
A Fire Weather Watch begins at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, and will affect the North Bay mountains and valleys, as well as the East Bay hills and the Santa Cruz Mountains. This Fire Weather Watch will last until 5 p.m. on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
“The strongest winds are likely overnight Wednesday and into early Thursday morning,” reports the Hal Turner Radio Show.
As of this writing, PG&E has revealed that planned blackouts in Napa County could last five days or more, while power in Danville will “likely” be restored by 12 p.m. Thursday. In Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda, power will be restored “once fire weather conditions pass.”
In San Jose, however, PG&E’s planned power outages could last up to seven days, meaning customers in this area will need to make appropriate survival plans to get through the week. The City of San Jose even put out a tweet urging local resident to fortify their “emergency kit supply” with things like fresh water, nonperishable and canned food, batteries, flashlights, first aid kits, a non-electric can opener, N-95 medical grade face masks, hand sanitizer, a camp stove and fuel, a portable power bank, and cash.
El Cerrito, Berkeley, and Sonoma County are all likewise scheduled for blackouts, as are the following counties:
• Alameda County
• Alpine County
• Amador County
• Butte County
• Calaveras County
• Colusa County
• El Dorado County
• Glenn County
• Lake County
• Mariposa County
• Mendocino County
• Nevada County
• Placer County
• Plumas County
• San Joaquin County
• San Mateo County
• Santa Clara County
• Santa Cruz County
• Shasta County
• Sierra County
• Solano County
• Stanislaus County
• Tehama County
• Tuolumne County
• Yolo County
• Yuba County
Some Northern Californians are already crying foul over the decision and the excuses backing it. One commenter at the Hal Turner Radio Show website claims that his power was shut off last weekend for more than 15 hours because of “high winds” that he says never actually came.
“Our flag was barely moving,” he wrote. “Our temperature was 51 degrees and humidity was 57 percent. We live at 3,200 feet. They (PG&E) are doing it because they can.”
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