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PG&E may cut power to 466,000 customers due to dangerous winds starting Sunday

PG&E may cut power to 466,000 customers due to dangerous winds starting Sunday

 SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company's (PG&E) announced Friday night that due to Sunday's forecasted wind event it's planning to shut the power off to approximately 466,000 customers in 38 counties.

PG&E officials say the high fire-risk conditions are expected to arrive Sunday morning and last until next Tuesday.

Due to these unfavorable conditions, the utility company has notified customers in 38 counties of a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) expected to start as early as Sunday morning.

Those counties include: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba. Some customers in 25 tribal communities may also be affected.

"The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility. PG&E's 24/7 Wildfire Safety Operations Center and our team of in-house meteorologists continue to monitor weather conditions for this potential Diablo offshore wind event arriving Sunday morning and lasting through Tuesday morning," said Michael Lewis, PG&E's Interim President. "Initial forecasts indicate this could be our largest PSPS event this year so far. Our highest priority is to keep customers and communities safe and execute this event according to our plan and to then quickly restore power to all affected customers when it's safe to do so."

"This is a strong to extreme offshore wind event and it could rival the Kincade Fire of last year and wine country fire on 2017," ABC7 News Meteorologist Mike Nicco said.

Gusty gusts winds are forecasted to reach 50 mph in Oakland, 44 mph in San Francisco, 36 mph in San Jose, 40 mph in Napa.

It's projected to be the strongest wind event of the year and it's bringing back memories of how some of the worst fires in our state began.

"Of this level the last one we had was the Kincade Fire in 2019 and the wine country fires in 2017," said Paul Lowenthal, Assistant Fire Marshal of Santa Rosa Fire Department.

VIDEO: 38,000 in Sonoma Co. could lose power in possible PG&E PSPS

In Sonoma County, more than 38,000 PG&E customers could lose power in the next round of PG&E's planned outages.

Friday Santa Rosa firefighters began staging at fire-prone area.

"They will be out patrolling those upper elevations, which we are going to pay close attention to, which are primarily our wildland and urban interface areas," said Lowenthal.

In Sonoma County, more than 38,000 PG&E customers could lose power. Codi Binkley, owner of B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille, is coming to terms with that possibility.

"Either order really light, or use my own home or basically have to give everything away or take a complete loss in that sense," said Binkley.

They trying to keep their fridge closed as long as possible.

"We are just trying to stay positive and make sure this freezer stays at a good temperature," said Binkley.

If the PG&E PSPS goes into effect Sunday, it's projected to last two days. In case that happens, Sweet Scoops owner Joe Hencmann has a plan

"I only have one little generator, so I can keep one freezer full but other than that I'll lose it. I'd rather help people out and give it away to the community," said Hencmann.

Across Northern California, 31,000 PG&E customers Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Humboldt, Plumas, Shasta, Tehama, Trinity and Yolo counties were impacted by Thursday's PSPS event. The utility said it expected to have all customers' power restored by Friday night.

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