Wet and Windy Weather to Impact Northern and Central California This Week
As PG&E Prepares for Storms, Customers Should Plan Ahead in Case Outages Occur
OAKLAND, Calif. — With meteorologists forecasting a significant weather system this week in Northern and Central California, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is ready to respond to potential power outages and urges customers to be prepared as well.
PG&E meteorologists, along with experts from the National Weather Service, forecast that a significant weather system will move into the region Wednesday night and into Thursday bringing a chance of rain and mountain snow to much of Northern and Central California. Wind gusts of 35 to 45 mph are possible on Thursday. Another weather system may move into the state over the weekend with more unsettled weather.
Ahead of storms, PG&E stockpiles power poles, powerlines, transformers and other electric equipment at yards throughout our service territory in preparation to restore power to affected areas safely and as quickly as possible.
If needed, local PG&E operations emergency centers will activate in impacted regions to more efficiently allocate crews, materials and other resources to restoration efforts. PG&E routinely practices its preparedness and response to storms and other emergencies through company exercises and drills with local first responders.
“As with any wintry weather event, there is the potential of power outages due to rain, gusty winds and mountain snow. Our meteorology team has been tracking this weather system and is coordinating with our Electric Operations to ensure the company is prepared to respond to outages. It’s always important for our customers to have an emergency plan in place for themselves and their families, too,” said Evan Duffey, a PG&E meteorologist.
Wet and windy conditions could cause trees, limbs and other debris to fall into powerlines, damage equipment and interrupt electric service. PG&E vegetation management crews work year-round to keep trees away from powerlines.
PG&E’s meteorology team utilizes a Storm Outage Prediction Model that incorporates real-time weather forecasts, historical data and system knowledge to accurately show where and when storm impacts will be most severe. This model enables the company to pre-stage crews and equipment as storms approach to enable rapid response to outages.
Keeping Customers Informed
PG&E knows how important it is to keep its customers informed. Customers can view real-time outage information on its website outage center and search by a specific address, by city or by county. This site has been updated to include support in 16 languages.
Additionally, customers can sign up for outage notifications by text, email or phone. PG&E will let customers know the cause of an outage, when crews are on their way, the estimated restoration time and when power has been restored.
Storm Safety Tips
- Never touch downed wires: If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move it—and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 9-1-1 and then PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
- Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should ensure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to customers, as well as crews working on powerlines. If using portable generators, be sure they are in a well-ventilated area.
- Use flashlights, not candles: During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights and not candles, due to the risk of fire. And keep extra batteries on hand. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades, animals and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
- Have a backup phone: If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup. Having a portable charging device helps to keep your cell phone running.
- Have fresh drinking water and ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling.
- Turn off appliances: If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
- Safely clean up: After the storm has passed, be sure to safely clean up. Never touch downed wires and always call 8-1-1 or visit 811express.com at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked.
Other tips can be found at: Safety and Preparedness, Storm Safety, and Safety Action Center
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.
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