PG&E decision on power shutoff expected this afternoon
UPDATE at 4:20 p.m.
PGE&E says it will hold a media briefing at 5:30 p.m. today. At that briefing officials will discuss updates and answer questions about a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff, which could include parts of Nevada County.
Some PG&E customers received the following text around 4:20 p.m. today:
PG&E Safety Alert: Due to weather forecast PG&E may turn off power on 10/23/19. Prepare a plan. More info: pgepsps.com/s1vpskwcwtgzm
UPDATE at 3:37 p.m.
PG&E said a decision on whether to shut down power this week to areas including Nevada County is now expected sometime later this afternoon, spokeswoman Mayra Tostado said.
The decision initially was expected around 2 p.m.
UPDATE at 1:04 p.m.
A PG&E spokeswoman said the utility company anticipates issuing a press release by 2 p.m. today if it decides to move forward with the Public Safety Power Shutoff Wednesday and Thursday. The shutoff would affect 15 counties in the Sierra Foothills and could impact as many as 209,000 customers, Mayra Tostado said.
Maps will be made available later this afternoon, if PG&E confirms it is going forward with the shutoff, Tostado said.
“We do a notification 48 hours before the weather event,” she said. “This afternoon, we would start sending warnings out to customers that would be impacted. Then we would do a 24-hour notification.”
PG&E has issued a Public Safety Power Shutoff Watch for Nevada County and surrounding areas due to wind forecasts for Wednesday and Thursday.
PG&E estimates 37,000 customers in Nevada County will be impacted if a shutoff is initiated, according to a 9 a.m. release from the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services. Maps are not yet available for potentially impacted customers in Nevada County. PG&E will notify impacted customers by phone, text and email.
A PSPS Watch means an emergency operations center has been activated, according to PG&E’s website. The center executes the shutoff.
“A PSPS watch is typically only issued within 72 hours before the anticipated start of an event,” according to PG&E’s website.
Nevada and Placer counties fall into PG&E’s zone 5, which also includes Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lassen, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Tehama and Yuba counties. Zones 2, 3, 4 and 5 are under watch.
The wind event is forecast to begin Wednesday, growing stronger that night and continuing into Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Strong winds are forecast to continue into Friday morning, but weaken for other areas.
Other counties to potentially be impacted include: Colusa, Glenn, Humboldt, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Alameda, Contra Costa, Mendocino, San Benito, San Joaquin and Stanislaus.
“The primary focus for strong winds will be in the mid elevations and foothills in the Sierra,” PG&E’s website states. “Please note PSPS decisions are made at a much more granular level than zone.”
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A panel of western Nevada County government agency leaders, along with community nonprofit and business representatives, will discuss the aftermath of October’s PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs from 6 to 9 p.m. today at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Hall, 255 S. Auburn St.