PG&E reduces planned power shutoffs, roughly 4K still to be in the dark

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Pacific Gas & Electric officials have some better news Wednesday night as power customers brace for planned outages amid dangerous fire weather.

Due to improving weather conditions, fewer people will be affected by the upcoming PSPS events. Officials initially said 54,000 people, including about 7,000 customers here in the Bay Area could have their power cut.

The utility has reduced that number by 30% with around 4,200 customers in the Bay Area expected to be blacked out. The majority are in Napa County, just scorched by the destructive Glass Fire. KCBS Radio has learned the outages are expected to start at about 1 a.m. Thursday in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, 3 a.m. Thursday in Santa Clara County and 4 a.m. in Napa County.

There are roughly three people per PG&E customer.

The utility hopes to have power restored to the East and South Bay by Thursday night. They project to follow suit in the North Bay by Friday night.

Strong winds are expected to sweep through parts of the North Bay Mountains, Santa Cruz Mountains, East Bay hills and the Diablo Range over the next few days.

The shutoffs will also impact other parts of the utility’s service area, including northeastern California. Across the state, PG&E estimates 50,000 customers could lose power in all this week. The biggest shutoffs are likely in Shasta, Butte and Tehama counties.

The most recent public safety power shutoffs hit the Bay Area just last week. Power shutoffs are intended to power down electrical lines when weather conditions cause a high risk of a wildfire.