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PG&E confirms power will be cut in portions of Woodside early Thursday morning

Utility lowers number of customers, communities that will be impacted

PG&E confirmed this morning (Oct. 23) that it will move forward with another fire danger-related power shutoff that will impact parts of San Mateo County, including Woodside, beginning at 1 a.m. Thursday.

The shutoff is expected to affect 372 customers in Woodside, La Honda, San Gregorio and unincorporated San Mateo County and approximately 179,000 customers overall in 17 counties.

Woodside Town Manager Kevin Bryant said Wednesday afternoon that most of the households in town that will lose power are near the Highway 84 and Skyline Boulevard intersection.

Late Tuesday evening, PG&E removed Portola Valley from its list of San Mateo County communities that could lose power. Redwood City, Emerald Hills and parts of the Coastside were also originally listed as communities that could be impacted.

"Forecasts indicate the peak period of winds should end about noon Thursday in the Sierra Foothills, North Bay and San Mateo County," the utility said in a press release. "Once the high winds subside, PG&E will inspect the de-energized lines to ensure they were not damaged during the wind event, and then restore power. PG&E will safely restore power in stages as quickly as possible, with the goal of restoring the vast majority of customers within 48 hours after the weather has passed."

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PG&E added that power in San Mateo County should not take long to restore because of the low number of customers affected.

The utility had initially said Monday afternoon that nearly 6,500 customers throughout the county and about 209,000 in 15 counties could lose power. The countywide figure dropped to 907 customers Tuesday morning. PG&E cited changing weather conditions and being able to sectionalize certain power lines in reducing the number of customers that might lose power from 209,000 to 179,000.

Just short of 15,000 customers in San Mateo County lost power during a planned shutoff earlier this month, and those in Portola Valley and Woodside who lost power then generally had it restored within about 24 hours.

PG&E President and CEO William Johnson said the company has set up a sister website where customers can determine whether their power will be shut off. That website is at psps.ss.pge.com/.

The announcement is in response to a dry, offshore wind event, PG&E officials said. The shutoff is intended to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire ignitions from its energized power lines that could fall during inclement weather.

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Customers were notified by text and automated phone calls Monday afternoon, and PG&E said an employee will knock on the doors of customers with medical issues who are enrolled in its Medical Baseline program.

PG&E officials said they will focus their efforts on those customers who need electricity for life sustaining equipment.

The officials said its meteorological and operations teams' models show wind gusts may exceed 55 mph late Wednesday evening through Thursday afternoon for portions of the Sierra Foothills. Winds between 35 and 45 mph with some 55 mph gusts in localized areas are forecast for Sonoma and Napa counties.

Similar weather patterns prompted PG&E to proactively shut off power for hundreds of thousands of customers starting on Oct. 9. Many streets in Portola Valley and Woodside lost power in that shutoff, and schools in the Portola Valley Elementary School District were closed Oct. 10 as a result.

There are no mandatory circumstances under which PG&E will take action to shut off power to a given area, but possibilities include a "red flag warning" declared by the National Weather Service; humidity levels of 20% and below; predicted sustained winds generally above 25 mph and wind gusts of 45 mph; conditions with dry fuel on the ground and live vegetation; and on-site observations from PG&E field crews, according to utility spokeswoman Andrea Menniti.

PG&E announced earlier this year that it was starting the public safety power shutoff program as a precautionary measure during windy and dry conditions. The utility has faced harsh scrutiny for its role in the devastating wildfires in Northern California in the last two years.

Weekend shutoff?

PG&E's website also predicts the potential for power shutoffs for the upcoming week in various regions of its service area.

The website currently indicates an elevated potential for a power shutoff in San Mateo County this Sunday and Monday. According to the utility, that means "an upcoming event (a period of gusty winds, dry conditions, heightened risk) is being monitored for an increased potential of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event."

"Another offshore wind event is then possible Sunday into Monday and may impact locations generally north of Monterey to Yosemite line," PG&E said Wednesday. "Details around this event remain unclear, but it has the potential to be as strong or stronger than recent events. In addition, dead fuel moistures will decrease significantly in the first event today and tomorrow, setting the stage to be critically dry and very susceptible to fire for the weekend event."

Almanac reporter Angela Swartz and Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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PG&E confirms power will be cut in portions of Woodside early Thursday morning

Utility lowers number of customers, communities that will be impacted

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Wed, Oct 23, 2019, 8:48 am
Updated: Wed, Oct 23, 2019, 10:31 am

PG&E confirmed this morning (Oct. 23) that it will move forward with another fire danger-related power shutoff that will impact parts of San Mateo County, including Woodside, beginning at 1 a.m. Thursday.

The shutoff is expected to affect 372 customers in Woodside, La Honda, San Gregorio and unincorporated San Mateo County and approximately 179,000 customers overall in 17 counties.

Woodside Town Manager Kevin Bryant said Wednesday afternoon that most of the households in town that will lose power are near the Highway 84 and Skyline Boulevard intersection.

Late Tuesday evening, PG&E removed Portola Valley from its list of San Mateo County communities that could lose power. Redwood City, Emerald Hills and parts of the Coastside were also originally listed as communities that could be impacted.

"Forecasts indicate the peak period of winds should end about noon Thursday in the Sierra Foothills, North Bay and San Mateo County," the utility said in a press release. "Once the high winds subside, PG&E will inspect the de-energized lines to ensure they were not damaged during the wind event, and then restore power. PG&E will safely restore power in stages as quickly as possible, with the goal of restoring the vast majority of customers within 48 hours after the weather has passed."

PG&E added that power in San Mateo County should not take long to restore because of the low number of customers affected.

The utility had initially said Monday afternoon that nearly 6,500 customers throughout the county and about 209,000 in 15 counties could lose power. The countywide figure dropped to 907 customers Tuesday morning. PG&E cited changing weather conditions and being able to sectionalize certain power lines in reducing the number of customers that might lose power from 209,000 to 179,000.

Just short of 15,000 customers in San Mateo County lost power during a planned shutoff earlier this month, and those in Portola Valley and Woodside who lost power then generally had it restored within about 24 hours.

PG&E President and CEO William Johnson said the company has set up a sister website where customers can determine whether their power will be shut off. That website is at psps.ss.pge.com/.

The announcement is in response to a dry, offshore wind event, PG&E officials said. The shutoff is intended to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire ignitions from its energized power lines that could fall during inclement weather.

Customers were notified by text and automated phone calls Monday afternoon, and PG&E said an employee will knock on the doors of customers with medical issues who are enrolled in its Medical Baseline program.

PG&E officials said they will focus their efforts on those customers who need electricity for life sustaining equipment.

The officials said its meteorological and operations teams' models show wind gusts may exceed 55 mph late Wednesday evening through Thursday afternoon for portions of the Sierra Foothills. Winds between 35 and 45 mph with some 55 mph gusts in localized areas are forecast for Sonoma and Napa counties.

Similar weather patterns prompted PG&E to proactively shut off power for hundreds of thousands of customers starting on Oct. 9. Many streets in Portola Valley and Woodside lost power in that shutoff, and schools in the Portola Valley Elementary School District were closed Oct. 10 as a result.

There are no mandatory circumstances under which PG&E will take action to shut off power to a given area, but possibilities include a "red flag warning" declared by the National Weather Service; humidity levels of 20% and below; predicted sustained winds generally above 25 mph and wind gusts of 45 mph; conditions with dry fuel on the ground and live vegetation; and on-site observations from PG&E field crews, according to utility spokeswoman Andrea Menniti.

PG&E announced earlier this year that it was starting the public safety power shutoff program as a precautionary measure during windy and dry conditions. The utility has faced harsh scrutiny for its role in the devastating wildfires in Northern California in the last two years.

Weekend shutoff?

PG&E's website also predicts the potential for power shutoffs for the upcoming week in various regions of its service area.

The website currently indicates an elevated potential for a power shutoff in San Mateo County this Sunday and Monday. According to the utility, that means "an upcoming event (a period of gusty winds, dry conditions, heightened risk) is being monitored for an increased potential of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event."

"Another offshore wind event is then possible Sunday into Monday and may impact locations generally north of Monterey to Yosemite line," PG&E said Wednesday. "Details around this event remain unclear, but it has the potential to be as strong or stronger than recent events. In addition, dead fuel moistures will decrease significantly in the first event today and tomorrow, setting the stage to be critically dry and very susceptible to fire for the weekend event."

Almanac reporter Angela Swartz and Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Comments

Blasey Ford
Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Oct 23, 2019 at 4:40 pm
Blasey Ford, Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Oct 23, 2019 at 4:40 pm
14 people like this


I feel a Gov. Gavin Newsome recall vote coming on!


Republicans Againt Trump
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 24, 2019 at 6:06 am
Republicans Againt Trump, Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 24, 2019 at 6:06 am
22 people like this

Sadly recalling Newsome has as much chance as that group trying to turn over MV's RV ban.


Americans favor impeachment 49-43%
Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 24, 2019 at 9:43 am
Americans favor impeachment 49-43%, Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 24, 2019 at 9:43 am
26 people like this

> I feel a Gov. Gavin Newsome (sic; misspelled repeatedly, either purposely, or just stupidity) recall vote coming on!

The last recall gave us Arnold Schwarzenegger who was the kiss of death for the failing CA GOP. How many goopers have held statewide office since Arnold? Gavin won by a 2-1 margin. I doubt he's afraid of anonymous trolls who childishly, purposely misspell his name.

When are California's conservatives going to start a new party - before or after the national GOP changes it name after the Trump effluence is flushed away?

Americans support impeaching the Kurd killer 49-43% (RCP.) Independents support impeachment 48-39 (Emerson) a VERY dangerous number for the GOP. Both of those numbers are far higher than Nixon's at a similar time, before the public hearings began.


Anthony
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 24, 2019 at 11:19 am
Anthony, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 24, 2019 at 11:19 am
26 people like this

Newsom has been pretty critical of these blackouts so I'm not sure how recalling him is supposed to make a difference.

I agree these blackouts are ridiculous but it's PG&E that's to blame. PG&E needs a major overhaul.


Americans favor impeachment 49-43%
Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 24, 2019 at 11:47 am
Americans favor impeachment 49-43%, Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 24, 2019 at 11:47 am
8 people like this

> I agree these blackouts are ridiculous but it's PG&E that's to blame. PG&E needs a major overhaul.

Yes. If Pathetic Gas & Electric has:
- sucked so much profits out they cannot operate safely or efficiently
- requires government intervention for safety
- requires government intervention for making decisions on blackouts, etc..

Then we should just take it over and break it into regional/municipality owned systems. The Invisible Hand of the Free Market has proved ineffective in this kind of public service.

We saw how the free market worked with Schwarzenegger and Enron. Besides destroying the market, it also killed the CA GOP forever in California (deservedly, of course.)


Paul G
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 24, 2019 at 3:30 pm
Paul G, Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 24, 2019 at 3:30 pm
23 people like this

You think PG&E is going to listen to ol' air bags Newsom? They guy is a career talker and seat warmer, how long did he wait in the wings to get he the big chair?

PG&E has spent millions over the years lobbying the suits, no politician will touch them. You bet, they'll talk tough, but do they have the sllab to break them up? Cheers to SF for trying to buy some of the assets, guess the pot smokers thought they could do a better job - probably could!

And watch out for the liberal trolls, they'll find a way to pin this on trump. Funny how the blues are spending all their time and our tax dollars doing something we can do for free in the next election, rather than fixing the real problems like PG&E, rampant drug use, immigration, trade deals.......and the list goes on......for once I agree with Judy Judy - Mr. Bloomberg - please run!


Americans favor impeachment 49-43%
Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 24, 2019 at 5:56 pm
Americans favor impeachment 49-43%, Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 24, 2019 at 5:56 pm
19 people like this

> how long did (Gavin) wait in the wings to get he the big chair

Did your google machine break? let me help you:

About 10 years *less* than Arnold waited.
About 15 years *less* than Deukmejian waited.
About 10 years *less* than Pete Wilson waited.

And not nearly as long as it will take for another republicon to ever get elected in California.


Chad
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 25, 2019 at 3:01 pm
Chad, Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 25, 2019 at 3:01 pm
11 people like this

Newsome is the biggest idiot
Useless, uselss politician, who does not care about the middle class tax payer. He loves his own voice- like the rest of you chickens on this post


Americans favor impeachment 49-43%
Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 25, 2019 at 3:19 pm
Americans favor impeachment 49-43%, Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 25, 2019 at 3:19 pm
16 people like this

A troll who can't even spell a name correctly is calling others "idiots."

Okay. Gavin won by a 2-1 margin. Losers need to deal with it. Come back when you have facts and not silly, uninformed opinions.


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