Shut-offs hit thousands in Nevada County: Power restoration expected by Wednesday night |

Shut-offs hit thousands in Nevada County: Power restoration expected by Wednesday night

A widespread Public Safety Power Shut-off affected 172,000 PG&E customers across 22 Northern California counties Monday and Tuesday while an offshore wind event fanned the flames of fires such as the Creek Fire, and the BearFire/North Complex fire that sent thick plumes of smoke over Grass Valley from Plumas County.

Nevada County had 23,312 customers affected, including 1,225 medical baseline customers, in Grass Valley, Nevada City and unincorporated areas.

PG&E officials are expected to begin inspecting power lines for damage today and begin reenergizing customers with the hopes of having everyone’s power restored by 9 p.m. tonight.

“We have to wait for the weather authorization,” PG&E Spokesperson Brandi Merlo said. “We are expecting it sometime between tonight and tomorrow morning. At that point we will begin our patrol and with the goal of everyone restored by tomorrow evening and tomorrow night.”

Bolstered temporary generation stations set up at PG&E’s Brunswick and Grass Valley substations have helped ensure that the lights can be kept on around Grass Valley and Nevada City’s population centers.

Ten cargo container-sized diesel powered mobile generators were put online at the Brunswick station about 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, helping to energize the Glenbrook Basin and downtown Nevada City.

“That was something that we did last year for Main Street and the hospital,” Merlo said. “This year we were able to expand it a little further.”

A PG&E community resource center will be established again today for people impacted by the PSPS.

Those wishing to power up their devices and use Wi-Fi can show up to the Nevada City Elks Lodge, 518 Highway 49, between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.

“The smoke if nothing else created a lot of alarm for people and it’s a really good warning on these Red Flag Days to be prepared not just for power outages but for fire events,” Nevada County Public Information Officer Taylor Wolfe said.

Wolfe, who expands her services with the county to help during emergencies, said that many other county officials are also better equipped to respond during incidents.

“Both our community business partners and county partners are more prepared than the first time we went through this last year,” Wolfe said of the power shut-offs. “We have more training, more bandwidth with staff this year.”

Wildfire safety starts with you. Here are tips to stay ready:

Stay situationally aware. Use all available tools and communications, including common sense. Do not wait for an evacuation order if you feel unsafe.

Find your five. Your five allies are people that will check on you and that you can communicate with in an emergency, so they know you are safe or if you need help.

Sign-up for CodeRED Emergency Alerts. Find more information and sign-up at

Have your Go Bag ready. Find a Go Bag checklist on page 20 of our Ready, Set, Go! Guide.

Use the Ready Nevada County Dashboard to find evacuation maps, Twitter feeds and recent CodeRED Emergency Alerts:. visit from your cell phone or from your desktop.

During a Red Flag Warning, local fire departments will place physical Red Flags outside their fire stations or nearby areas to increase public awareness of increased fire conditions. Follow all Red Flag warning recommendations found here:

Know the sound of Hi-Lo Sirens to alert you of an Evacuation Order.

If you are evacuating and have time, please attach the evacuation tag provided by OES and the Sheriff’s Office to a visible spot on your residence like a mailbox or green address sign. Learn more at

Red Flag Warning Precautions:

Park your vehicle towards the roadway and load your Go Bag.

Know how to open your garage if power is unavailable.

Be sure you have a full tank of gas.

Keep pets nearby and have a plan to transport large animals.

Always check towing equipment and eliminate dragging hazards.

Do not use equipment outdoors that may create a spark.

Never burn.

Have enough medication, water and food to last at least one week.

Have lighting, a phone, radio, and batteries.

If you do not have access to backup power, consider keeping your food in a cooler.

Stay in touch with your 5 Emergency Allies.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email, or call 530-477-4230.

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