Parts of nine counties may lose power during extreme weather, including Nevada County | TheUnion.com

Parts of nine counties may lose power during extreme weather, including Nevada County

Submitted to The Union

SAN FRANCISCO — Due to expected extreme fire danger conditions, including the Red Flag warning from the National Weather Service, Pacific Gas and Electric Company is continuing to notify approximately 70,000 customers in portions of nine counties that the company may proactively turn off power for safety starting on Thursday, according to a release.

Portions of Nevada, Placer, Sierra, Yuba, Butte, Lake, Napa, Plumas and Sonoma counties may be affected.

Cities on the list include Grass Valley, Nevada City, North San Juan, Colfax, Foresthill, Alta, Downieville, Sierra City, Brownsville, Dobbins and Camptonville.

"We understand how important electric service is to customers, so we are considering temporarily turning off power in the interest of safety only as a last resort during extreme weather conditions to reduce the risk of wildfire," said Pat Hogan, senior vice president of Electric Operations.

Factors that PG&E considers when deciding to initiate a Public Safety Power Shutoff include strong winds, very low humidity levels, critically dry vegetation and on-the-ground observations.

PG&E is sending automated voice messages, texts and emails to customers alerting them to a potential power shutoff. The company has also taken extra steps to notify customers enrolled in the Medical Baseline program via available channels, including deploying PG&E employees to knock on these customers' doors. Due to forecasted high winds and dry vegetation, PG&E may temporarily turn off power in portions of the following communities:

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Customers in these potentially affected areas are served by approximately 3,100 miles of power lines. That's the equivalent of the driving distance from San Francisco to Boston, the release stated. If power is turned off for safety, every mile will be inspected prior to safely turning the power back on.

PG&E meteorologists continuously monitor weather conditions, and the company will issue additional details on affected areas as weather reports become available. Gusty northeast winds are expected late Wednesday through Thursday primarily in the Sacramento Valley, western slopes of northern Sierra and the North Bay hills.

PG&E is working closely with first responders and state and local agencies to keep them apprised of our response to the evolving weather conditions.

Customers should make sure their contact information is up-to-date by visiting pge.com/mywildfirealerts, or by calling 1-866-743-6589 during normal business hours. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911.

Customers can learn whether their home or business is in or near a high fire-threat area by reviewing the California Public Utilities Commission's High Fire-Threat District map. For more information on how to prepare, visit pge.com/wildfiresafety or call 1-800-743-5002. Or go to pge.com/wildfiresafety to determine whether their home or business is served by an electric line that may be turned off for safety.

Source: Pacific Gas & Electric

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