San Mateo County preps for power shutoff

in Community/Featured/Headline

PG&E confirmed that it has implemented the first phase of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) across significant portions of its service area in response to a widespread, severe wind event.

The Public Safety Power Shutoff event in San Mateo County was initially expected to start about noon today, but delayed to 8 p.m. due to changing weather conditions. The power shutoffs are occurring in phases starting with counties in Northern California, and they are expected to last at least until the weather event ends Thursday afternoon, with full power restoration taking up to five days.

A searchable online map showing the outages can be accessed on KQED here.

About 15,000 PG&E customers and 262 medical baseline customers will be affected in the southern and coastal areas of San Mateo County, including the cities of Half Moon Bay and the towns of Portola Valley and Woodside, according to county officials.

“The unincorporated areas west of 280 and to the Santa Cruz border including Pescadero are also in the anticipated impact zone,” the county said. “PG&E and Caltrans have rerouted power, allowing the Tom Lantos Tunnels on Highway 1 to remain open although that could change dependent on evolving weather conditions.”

PG&E opened a tented Community Resource Center in the Pasta Moon restaurant parking lot, 845 Main St. in Half Moon Bay where residents can receive water, air conditioning and power charging for devices from 8 a.m. through at least 8 p.m. during the power shutoff.

County parks have closed in impacted areas.

For updates on power restoration, see PG&E’s PSPS website.

The first phase began at midnight today and was expected to impact about 513,000 customers in the counties of Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba.

The second phase is scheduled to occur around noon today, impacting service to approximately 234,000 customers in the counties of Alameda, Alpine, Contra Costa, Mariposa, San Joaquin, San Mateo and Santa Clara.

A third phase is being considered for the southernmost portions of PG&E’s service area, impacting approximately 42,000 customers. Specific locations are still to be determined.

PG&E is conducting the Public Safety Power Shutoff event due to forecasts of dry, hot and windy weather that has heightened fire risk. The concerning weather pattern should end midday Thursday.

“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility, which is why PG&E has decided to turn power off to customers during this widespread, severe wind event. We understand the effects this event will have on our customers and appreciate the public’s patience as we do what is necessary to keep our communities safe and reduce the risk of wildfire,” said Michael Lewis, PG&E’s senior vice president of Electric Operations.