PG&E says power restored to 'essentially' all customers impacted by PSPS

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PG&E said it has finished restoring power Friday night to thousands of customers who had their electricity cut during the Public Safety Power Shutoff earlier this week.

The utility said that "essentially" all customers who were cleared to have electricity restored did by about 7:45 p.m. Roughly 38,000 of the 41,000 customers who were in the dark had their power turned back on, leaving 3,000 without electricity.

The utility originally planned to cut power to an estimated 53,000 customers, not 41,000, Wednesday night due to high fire danger.

PG&E began turning off power to 33,000 customers at about 6 p.m. Wednesday. At about 8 p.m., 19,000 additional customers had their power turned off, said utility officials.

The 6 p.m. shutoffs were set to impact counties including Napa and Sonoma. The shutoffs beginning at 8 p.m. were set to impact parts of Santa Cruz, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

The utility said it notified customers who were affected ahead of time.

Winds clocked in at over 60 mph in some parts of the Bay Area during the event, bringing high fire danger to the region just as predicted.

Those high winds were recorded at Mt. St. Helena, Mt. Diablo and Mt. Umunhum near San Jose.

When electrical lines are de-energized it reduces the risk of them being damaged by the wind and igniting a fire, but losing electricity poses a number of problems.

For John George, an apartment owner in Angwin in Napa County, the last power shutoff in September caused a lot of stress as the Glass Fire approached.

“We were getting notifications on our phone from the Sheriff’s Department saying, ‘new update on evacuation orders, go to this website to get the information.’ Well, we couldn’t because we didn’t have Internet,” he said. “We were really running into a major problem of knowing exactly what was expected. Are we under actual orders to evacuate or not?”

PG&E opened 40 customer resource centers both indoors and outdoors with snacks, cold water, device charging and air conditioning during the PSPS.

A Red Flag Warning started Wednesday at 5 a.m. and was extended for the North Bay Mountains and East Bay Hills through 8 a.m. Saturday. It was originally set to expire on Friday at 11 a.m.