Wind Event Could Lead to Public Safety Power Shutoff; Public Urged to Prepare

Very heavy winds this week have PG&E officials predicting a Public Safety Power Shutoff due to extreme wildfire conditions. Shasta County officials, including the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) and the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, encourage local PG&E customers to be prepared for power outages that may last for multiple days. HHSA staff have been planning for months in anticipation of Public Safety Power Shutoffs, including mapping where our vulnerable clients are and checking in with them when needed. We also urge the public to follow their emergency plans and those developed by their care providers. Medical equipment vendors should work with their clients to make sure they have battery packs.

If you experience a power outage, it’s critical to follow food safety guidelines. Resources for residents as well as retail food facilities and restaurants can be found on the Shasta County Environmental Health site.

If they have not done so already, customers are urged to visit www.pge.com, click “Public Safety Power Shutoffs,” and ensure their contact information is updated. PG&E will notify customers who are part of the PG&E Medical Baseline Allowance program and depend on electrically powered medical equipment or air conditioning for medical conditions. These customers should ensure that their generators are operational and fueled to last for several days, and/or make other plans for a shutoff.

For more information and preparation tips, visit the PG&E Prepare for Power Shutoffs webpage at www.prepareforpowerdown.com.

According to Redding Electric Utility (REU), residences, businesses and facilities inside the corporate City of Redding limits should not experience public safety power shutoffs. REU collaborated with other city departments and the county to develop a plan to reduce wildfire risk without the use of pre-emptive power shutoffs. However, during red flag warning periods, REU will change its operations that could result in longer outages when a system fault does occur.

Residents who receive power from the City of Shasta Lake Electric Utility are also not expected to lose power as part of a public safety power shutoff.

Find more wildfire preparation resources here:

Shasta County HHSA’s Wildfire Recovery and Preparedness Page: https://www.co.shasta.ca.us/index/hhsa_index/disaster-recovery-and-preparedness

Disaster preparedness information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security: https://www.ready.gov/power-outages

CAL FIRE’s wildfire preparedness website: readyforwildfire.org
Information on the California Public Utilities Commission wildfire safety efforts: cpuc.ca.gov/wildfiresinfo
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services website: caloes.ca.gov

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-from press release
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22 Responses

  1. There are a number of closures of schools tomorrow, including Shasta College.

    I’m curious how many of you expect to be impacted?

    I’m an REU customer, but I do have PG&E for gas.

  2. Avatar Striker says:

    Dam you climate change! We’ll only six years left….were all done.

    • Avatar Tim says:

      It is certainly possible that climate change increases the severity of fires, but climate change didn’t cause PG&E to leave in place a 40 year-old power line (with a 10 year expected life) on 100+ year-old towers (with 30 year expected lives) 5 years after their own engineers deemed it deficient: https://www.kqed.org/news/11760156/report-pge-knew-about-extensive-power-line-problems-but-delayed-repairs-for-years

      PG&E – like most utilities – is a regulated monopoly. In order to raise rates, it has to get government approval. In order to continue functioning, it needs to be able to borrow billions of dollars cheaply. But it can’t borrow money cheaply from the likes of pension funds unless it shows a consistent, stable profit.

      When regulators deny or limit rate increases at the same time they are decreasing overall energy usage via things like consumer solar mandates, utilities are left either losing money (and their individual corporate bonuses) until a public & career-ending bankruptcy or cutting corners as long as they can until the piper finally needs to be paid and they declare bankruptcy while blaming forces outside their control – like climate change.

      Hopefully regulators and utilities will act rationally going forward. These power cuts are PG&E’s passive aggresive way of pressuring regulators into either bailing out their long-ignored infrastructure or allowing them to jack up rates enough to maintain the grid.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Passive-aggressive. There’s the phrase I’ve been looking for to describe this leveraging tactic.

      • Avatar Kathy says:

        I’m thinking it’s overkill and I absolutely agree with Tins comments they are saying it can take up to 5 days to restore power as they have to inspect every line. Whoa ! What the bleep have they been doing? I’m calling everyone I can think of ,as I see this as a convenient way for PG&E to find the problems — all at our expense.

  3. Avatar Striker says:

    Just maybe a meth head crazy back woods type shot down that power line with her AR 15 with a200rd. Mag. Well it was in a very remote location after all.

  4. Avatar Striker says:

    There needs to be some wind speed limit RULE that has BEEN passed before the most trusted pg&e CAN CUT OFF the power by using FAKE WEATHER NEWS !

    I’M calling their red flag warning totally BS. No 40/50+winds. Same avg. Winds as it’s ever been.

    Next it will be earthquake warnings , power off ….

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      In Arizona there is a rule, or soon to be, that power cannot be shut off for non payment when the temperature reaches 105. The national average, other states must do it, is 95. Do other states have a wind rule when power needs to be shut off?

    • Avatar Randy says:

      40/50 mile winds are not a big deal unless you have a fire started and the finger is pointed at you. Our polulace has become altogether too dependent on the convenience of constant, uninterrupted power and have fantasy level ideas about the ability of PGE or anyone else to maintain constant power regardless of conditions. On site, self maintained power systems is the correct solution to people keeping uninterrupted power.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        Randy says, “…Our polulace (sic) has become altogether too dependent on the convenience of constant, uninterrupted power”

        Yes, Randy..living in a state that you all brag about being the 5th largest economy in the world. I expect reliable uninterrupted power, you don’t?

        • Avatar Randy says:

          Brag? I thought it was an economic fact that California IS the 5th largest economy in existence. If not please provide links to the correct information. Personal experience has taught me lessons about irrational expectations and if I expect to have “uninterrupted power” I will have to build and maintain my own flawless system but I think I will just wait for the wind to die down instead.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Good grief, Randy. My point is that the 5 th largest economy in the world should be able to provide reliable power to its citizens. Why are we rolling over and accepting this? I shouldn’t have to build my own energy source. We don’t live in a third world country. Yes, sometimes a big storm will cause a blackout, that is understandable. But to shut down power for over a million people because maybe it will get windy? You’re ok with that? While I was flying around in my airplane, taking off and landing in mild 10 knot winds… power was out for thousands in our area. Schools closed, businesses shuttered…for what?

  5. Avatar Carrie says:

    All of Happy Valley sits in the dark this fine morning.

  6. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    We here in Palo Cedro are without power. Hoping this doesn’t turn into 8 days without power, like Snowmageddon.

  7. Avatar Randy says:

    PGE has expanded wires to every corner people have requested service. Should they have not built this system? Is it up to PGE to maintain a trouble free network of power lines? One tree limb has the potential to ignite another Carr/ Camp fire and until we develop an energy system that is not vunerable to such hazards we better accept the most responsible move to make is to shut off the power in high wind/dry conditions.

    • Avatar Tim says:

      Over the last 100+ years PG&E has been given tons of land and billions in grants in order to reliably provide power to rural California – something they’ve done reasonably well for 90 of those years. We’ve had dry weather and moderate winds in the northstate longer than PG&E has been around, but it is only in the last 10 years that its decrepit equipment and slow response time has been killing Californians with some regularity. This coincides with the Great Recovery push to solar and concomitant decline in PG&E income (from 2008-2016 PG&E’s net income declined 13% while its debt ballooned 37%).

      Worse, state regulators overreacted to the 2010 San Bruno explosion and mandated PG&E replace or upgrade 400 miles of main gas pipeline in response to this isolated failure of an improperly installed pipe (a failure made worse by a glacial 90 minute response to cut gas to the broken line that was then spreading fire through a neighborhood). So what little money could have been going to the grid in 2011-2014 was going to gas pipelines. Remember that the Camp Fire’s transmission lines were found to be deficient in 2012, but PG&E didn’t have money for repairs.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        In PG&E’s defense: Until I sold my interest in my firm earlier this year, I pretty much spent the previous 5 years running crews on PG&E transmission line projects, full-tilt.

        In short: PG&E compensates its contractors extremely well, and yet there was always a big shortage of crews to do the planned work.

        I don’t know what the solution is, but if you want to start a company that does transmission line work, I’m 100% confident PG&E will hire your newbie @$$.

  8. Avatar Cathy Allen says:

    Churn Creek bottom is without power also, sigh.

  9. Avatar Linda Cooper says:

    Power went off in Chico at midnight. When there was no wind. Power back on at 2pm with the wind blowing. Passive aggressive sounds about right.

  10. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    Power went off at 1:45 AM yesterday morning and was restored about 12:30 AM this morning. The winds were pretty strong much of the day. Most of Humboldt has electricity now save for inland locations like Hoopa, per the North Coast Journal.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      I took my airplane for a spin yesterday morning. What horrific conditions did I face? Oh… about 10kt winds, over a lot of Shasta County. Wanted to go to a movie afterwards in Anderson and was surprised that power was shut down. Hurting small businesses for what? Losing multiple days of business can be devastating for these small shops.
      I couldn’t believe our governors feigned outrage. What’s his goal? End bankruptcy proceedings as he stated yesterday…a government bail out of PG&E…and then even higher rates and taxes for the consumer.
      Oh yeah, in other news. Remember the 2 recent gas tax increases totalling 18 cents s gallon? Newsom is ordering CalTrans to divert tens of millions of dollars away from road repairs to rail projects. Barbara…pg&e isn’t ‘restoring’ power, they are flipping the switch back on after flipping the switch off. My father just left for his home in Cabo, because right now Mexico has more reliable power than the 5th largest economy in the world

  11. Avatar Striker says:

    Only 3rd. World shit holes don’t have reliable power ! California has gone from the top to the bottom . Wait for the housing market to collapse , there will be looting lawlessness in the their mil dollar neighborhoods. Keep voting socialist.

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