The San Mateo County Emergency Alert System announced tonight (Oct. 8) that power shutoffs in Portola Valley and Woodside are "very likely."
In a bulletin issued shortly after 6 p.m., SMC Alert reported: "Due to significantly windy weather conditions and high fire risk, PG&E has announced a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) incident that will affect San Mateo County starting at noon on Wednesday October 9th."
Areas of the county where "electrical power is very likely to be interrupted" include the "Foothills region west of Highway 280 including Portola Valley, Woodside, Skyline and the surrounding unincorporated area," the bulletin warned.
Earlier this week, the National Weather Service called a "Fire Weather Watch" beginning Tuesday night and lasting through Thursday. The alert was prompted by predicted severe and dry offshore winds during that period. Forecasters say it's likely to be the strongest offshore wind event of the 2019 fire season.
PG&E is asking customers to get ready by updating their contact information so they can be notified when electrical service powers down and gets restored, and to plan ahead for any medical needs that require refrigeration or devices that need electricity to run.
Anyone using a backup generator to get through the shutoff is advised to be aware that generators pose unusual hazards not typically associated with grid power. People should make sure to vent the generator's exhaust outside to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and avoid running portable generators in the garage.