Almost 800,000 PG&E Customers Brace for Largest Power Shut-Off Ever

PG&E says it could cut power in 30 counties to prevent fires

In Stanislaus County, Oakdale, Riverbank and Knights Ferry are all in the potential impact area, while Farmington and Stockton in San Joaquin County are also on the list.

It was the second consecutive public safety power shutoff in that week, after the company had previously left about 24,000 customers across three northern California counties in the dark.

To support customers who would be impacted by Wednesday's potential PSPS event, PG&E is planning to open Community Resource Centers across the affected areas. A detailed map posted on PG&E's website also showed Tesla Inc.'s Fremont factory lying outside the zones, as well as San Francisco, PG&E's hometown.

The conditions that drove the fires are coming to Northern California, including the Sacramento Valley, in a few days. PG&E has begun switching off transmission lines in advance of high winds.

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"This is shaping up to be one of the most severe dry wind events we've seen in our territory in recent years and we want our customers to be prepared for an extended outage that may last several days", said Michael Lewis, a PG&E senior vice president. Another major fire sparked by its equipment could upend its restructuring plans by creating new claims that would take priority over existing ones.

UPDATE, 12:30 p.m.: It's hard to overstate what a complete clusterfuck of a situation this is.

According to a PG&E press release published Monday morning, the National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for many regions in Northern California, leading it to consider "proactively turning off power for safety".

Due to significantly windy weather conditions and high fire risk, PG&E has announced a possible Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) incident that is expected to affect up to 29 California counties, including San Mateo County. The shutoff is expected to impact electric service for almost 800,000 customers statewide, PG&E said in a statement. "We're like a little grid of our own", he said.Back-up generator manufacturer Generac Holdings Inc. said it expects to see a spike in consultations and leads following the planned outage.

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