Update 12:40 p.m.: The San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services said Friday afternoon that PG&E will shut off power to 65,000 county customers beginning early Saturday afternoon. Emergency planners say to be prepared for more than 48 hours without power. The shutoff area appears to include the entire Coastside.
The embattled power company says it is monitoring weather conditions that rival those that existed during the devastating 2017 wine country fires and preparing to turn off the power switch for hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents in all nine counties of the region. This could be the biggest shutdown since the power company enacted the policy as a precaution against wildfire.
Currently, the entire Coastside appears to fall in the watch area covered by company maps. And many on the coast have received warnings to expect power outages as early as Saturday. This time, the maps extend east to Highway 101 in spots, and cover much of the North and East Bays.
Alameda County has told residents to prepare for a shutoff at 5 p.m. Saturday. Contra Costa County warned residents to expect the shutdown at 10 p.m. on Saturday.
Half Moon Bay and other areas have experienced record temperatures this week. A heat advisory exists for the city today until 7 p.m. A wind advisory goes into effect Sunday at 3 a.m. and continues through Monday morning. In addition, the entire area is under a red flag fire warning.
The National Weather Service specifically calls out the "highest threat" of wildfire for the Highway 1 corridor from Pacifica south to Davenport and above 1,500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Some good news: Caltrans assured drivers on Friday that the Devil's Slide tunnels would remain open for the duration. Spokesman Bart Ney said generators were being installed at the tunnels today to maintain power to the massive ventilation fans inside bores.
The Review will monitor developments and post breaking email alerts as well as news as it develops on Twitter at @hmbreview and on Facebook.