Coastsiders awoke in darkness early Monday morning, and they contemplated more dark days to come as a widespread power outage, raging wildfires and a blanket of smoke greeted commuters on the first work day of the week. Here’s the latest.
Beginning at 8 a.m. this morning, PG&E was set to begin re-energizing the lines for more than 2 million customers across the state who have been without electricity since Saturday. That could bring back power quickly or it could take days, company officials say, depending upon whether they find damage along the way. The outages have also affected Verizon, Comcast and other technology systems throughout the region.
Traffic was abysmal in spots all along the San Mateo County coast. Deputies monitored traffic at Frenchmans Creek, but not further north, at Coronado Street or Capistrano Road, and traffic was crawling through intersections without signals. It was particularly bad through Pacifica, where San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services urged motorists to be patient. The Devil’s Slide tunnels have remained open.
Schools opened as usual across the coast on Monday morning. Both Cabrillo and La Honda-Pescadero unified school districts said they would operate as close to usual as possible throughout the ordeal. Sea Crest School in Half Moon Bay is also open this morning.
Across the region the winds have died down. The National Weather Service canceled wind advisories early this morning, but the Red Flag Warning of extreme fire danger remains in effect through 11 a.m. this morning.
The air quality over much of the region is poor. Models show the smoke could become worse over the peninsula as winds shift and evening approaches tonight.
And, even as PG&E works to re-energize its lines, it’s planning for another potential outage as early as Tuesday. The forecast calls for high winds and continued bone-dry conditions on Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Sunday PG&E officials said they could only hope to get the power back on today before turning it off for many of the same people on Tuesday.
As if coastal residents needed something else to worry about, the National Weather Service has issued a Beach Hazards Statement from Sonoma south to Monterey counties, warning of the potential for large sneaker waves.