There was little substantive update on Tuesday to PG&E’s earlier warning that it might shut off power to 200,000 customers in the region beginning on Wednesday. The warning area includes much of the Coastside.
The power giant has said that it plans to shut off power in parts of 16 counties beginning on Wednesday due to high wildfire danger. The region includes Half Moon Bay, San Gregorio, Pescadero and La Honda, but not north of the city into the Midcoast. Caltrans says it expects no interruption of service through the Devil’s Slide tunnels.
PG&E has said that it expects to power down those in the Coastside warning area at about 1 a.m. on Thursday morning as winds are expected to increase. There are conflicting reports of how long power might be down. The PG&E website indicates that once power is shut off to an area it might be down for more than 48 hours.
If it happens, a shutdown this week would be the second this month. An earlier shutoff affected Coastside customers for 17 hours or longer and caused disruption throughout the region. Traffic intensified due to nonfunctioning signals. Businesses were forced to close. Many people reported severe interruptions to their lives, including some with medical conditions that require power.
PG&E is urging those in the shutoff warning area to make preparations now, including purchasing batteries and gasoline. There is no word as yet whether the power company will operate a resource center on the coast, as it did during the last shutdown event.
More tips can be found at pge.com/pspsupdates. The power company’s website was down intermittently through the last shutoff and PG&E says it experienced trouble with it earlier today as well.
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