The PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs outages in parts of San Mateo County and Half Moon Bay will continue in some parts until noon on Tuesday, as part of the broader PSPS outages throughout the Bay Area due to Red Flag warnings.
Parts of San Mateo County were without power on Sunday evening and all day Monday. The majority of affected residences in San Mateo County were in unincorporated areas.
Pacific Gas and Electric spokeswoman Mayra Tostado said there are currently 3,671 people without power in total, with around 43 people in Half Moon Bay as of Monday afternoon in San Mateo County. The vast majority of people affected are in unincorporated San Mateo County, where 3,439 customers are without power. PG&E will begin inspections of affected areas to restore power as soon as weather permits. PG&E will patrol power lines, look for hazards, and repair any damage done during the Red Flag event. It hopes to restore power to most customers in San Mateo County by noon Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Unincorporated parts of San Mateo County and Half Moon Bay began power shutoffs Sunday night, and Half Moon Bay said that PG&E has scheduled the outages to last until at least Tuesday morning. The city limits within Half Moon Bay and El Granada currently have power. A Community Resource Center is open at the Half Moon Bay Library at 620 Correas St. While PG&E began restoring power to some affected San Mateo County areas Monday, PG&E said that the unincorporated part of San Mateo County would take until Tuesday.
The National Weather Service announced on Twitter Monday evening that the Red Flag warnings for the lower elevations in the Bay Area, including San Mateo County and Santa Cruz Mountains, had expired. Red Flag conditions in other parts of the Bay Area like the North and East Bay will continue until 5 p.m. Tuesday due to strong winds and critically low humidity that will create dry fuels to produce critical fire weather conditions. The Weather Service said that Half Moon Bay saw a fall in relative humidity in the early hours of Monday morning from 94% to 15% and that humidity had stayed below 20% Monday, alarmingly low for a coastal region. Half Moon Bay has dealt with PSPS outages and Red Flag warnings throughout September and October, with the most recent outage a couple of weeks ago starting Oct. 14. Monday and Tuesday are considered critical fire weather days throughout the Bay Area.
San Mateo County also took extra precautions during the Red Flag warnings period to prepare for fire danger. The county announced on Twitter they had closed county parks on Monday and possibly into Tuesday due to the dry conditions and high winds. The list of parks includes San Bruno Mountain State Park, Junipero Serra, Crystal Springs Regional Trail (San Andreas, Sawyer Camp, Ralston Bike, Sheep Camp), Edgewood, Huddart and Wunderlich. Lower La Honda Creek Preserve, Mindego Hill at Russian Ridge Preserve, Windy Hill Preserve and Thornewood Preserve also closed on Monday. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties also announced it added extra staffing to the San Mateo County Fire Department and Coastside Fire Department in preparation for extreme fire weather throughout the Red Flag period.
PG&E Chief Meteorologist Scott Strenfel said during an update Monday evening that the recent weather brought in the strongest wind strength of the season and low humidity, leading to optimal wildfire conditions throughout the Bay Area. Areas in the East and North Bay saw winds into the 80s on Monday, and no rain is expected over the next week. PG&E started the PSPS shutoffs Sunday to mitigate the risk of high voltage power lines igniting vegetation. The shutoff affected approximately 345,000 customers in 34 Northern California counties and 17 tribes and was prompted by high winds, drought and low humidity levels. As of Monday night, 95,000 customers have had power restored, with the remaining 250,000 customers expected to get power back Tuesday. PG&E said more than 1,800 people throughout Northern California are working to fix any potential problems. People in San Mateo County who want information from PG&E about outages in their area can visit the PG&E alerts page for more details. Half Moon Bay residents with any questions can contact the city at the following numbers: (650) 445-3090 or (650) 477-4963.
(650) 344-5200, ext. 102