PG&E warned ratepayers it may need to proactively issue a Public Safety Power Shutoff in parts of 24 counties, including the Bay Area, due to dry offshore winds that were expected to start Wednesday evening and could damage energized power lines.
Roughly 54,000 customers may be affected, according to Pacific Gas and Electric. The power shutoff could affect customers in Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties. In San Mateo County, officials said about 1,700 customers could be affected in the southern and coastal areas of the county, including in Half Moon Bay, Woodside and La Honda. All but 20 customers are in the unincorporated areas, according to county officials.
County Parks has closed Huddart, Wunderlich and Edgewood parks. PG&E will open Community Resource Centers for residents to receive water, air conditioning and power charging for devices at the Half Moon Bay Library and the La Honda Fire Brigade.
As of Monday evening, only 21 counties and around 50,000 customers were expected to be affected by the power shutoff. The utility routinely shuts off power in high-risk areas for wildfires because its equipment has caused several massive fires in recent years.
More than 11,000 customers in Napa and Sonoma counties are likely to be affected by the power shutoff as both counties continue dealing with the Glass Fire, which was 97 percent contained as of Wednesday morning and had burned more than 67,000 acres in Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties.
According to PG&E, customers could lose power in the North Bay mountains near Mt. St. Helena, parts of the East Bay near Mt. Diablo, a section of the Oakland Hills east of Piedmont between state Highway 24 and the Upper San Lorenzo Reservoir, elevated areas near the Calaveras Reservoir and parts of the Santa Cruz and Big Sur mountains.
PG&E officials anticipate the shutoff will affect less than 0.5 percent of Bay Area customers and around 1 percent of the utility’s overall 5.4 million customers.
Resource center attendees are advised to follow state and local public health policies to prevent the coronavirus' spread, including avoiding mixing of households and wearing a face covering.
PG&E customers can find out their anticipated shutoff status at pge.com/pspsupdates.