Arcata and county updates, plus food safety tips

City of Arcata update

Humboldt County PG&E Public Safety Power Outage Update

Tuesday, October 29, UPDATE: PG&E has confirmed that all Humboldt County customers may lose power today, Tuesday, October 29. This includes the City of Arcata. Residents should continue to prepare for an extended power outage which could last for several days.

PG&E has confirmed that they will attempt to delay de-energization to Humboldt County as long as possible, though that is subject to change any time. The City of Arcata encourages all residents to be prepared to lose power at any moment today, Tuesday, October 29. The length of the outage and estimated time of restoral is entirely up to PG&E.

The City of Arcata Community Relief Center (CRC) at the Arcata Community Center is currently open. It will remain open until 6 p.m. if power remains on, or open until 8 PM if power is shutdown.  The center is heated and community members in need of a place to warm up are encouraged to visit the CRC, located at 321 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway.

Meals will be delivered to local seniors as part of Arcata Community Center's regular Senior Dining Service today, and seniors who visit the Arcata Community Center will be provided meals as part of the regularly scheduled program.

Arcata House Partnership will continue to offer meals to community members in need today, Tuesday, October 29, until 6 PM. Meals will be provided at two locations including the Arcata Community Center and The Arcata House Partnership Annex, located at 501 9th Street in Arcata. They will continue to deliver meals to community members with mobility or transportation challenges, please call 707-298-7610 or 707-822-2424 to arrange for meal delivery or to volunteer or make a donation.

Humboldt State University campus remains closed. Classes and all scheduled activities are currently canceled through the end of today, Tuesday, October 29. For Humboldt State University power outage updates, please visit humboldt.edu or call 707-826-INFO (4636).

While power remains restored, Arcata residents are encouraged to:

  • Restock emergency supplies including medication, food, water, fuel, etc.
  • Charge all critical devices
  • Make arrangements for medical needs
  • Pump septic tanks (if you have private sewer systems)
  • Sign up for emergency notifications via CodeRed Alerts here and Humboldt ALERT here

We will continue to update our website as new information becomes available. Community members who have signed up for City News eNotifications will receive updates via email or text message. To sign up for City News eNotifications, please click here.

County of Humboldt update

PG&E power outage Tuesday morning UPDATE

PG&E advises that ALL customers in Humboldt County will lose power again today, Tuesday, October 29th, due to extreme weather conditions in parts of Humboldt County and surrounding counties that will cause dangerous conditions for power transmission lines. PG&E was unable to provide an estimated time for power loss to occur and are allowing for power to remain on for as long as possible. Residents are encouraged to prepare for loss of power to occur at any point and to remain out for another night. The estimated time for the weather “all clear” is currently at 8 am on Wednesday, October 30th.

While power remains on, Humboldt County residents are encouraged to:

a. Restock emergency supplies including medication, food, water, fuel, etc.

b. Charge all devices

c. Make arrangements for medical needs

d. Sign up for Humboldt ALERT at humboldtgov.org/alerts

e. Follow @HumboldtCountyOES on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information

Please note: The information of a 9 pm shut off occuring this evening is contrary to the information provided by PG&E during the update at 7:30am this morning. There may be some confusion due to PG&E having zones with different names, one of which is called “N. Humboldt” but actually pertains to Siskiyou County, not Humboldt County.

This release is intended to update the public on Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) activity information provided by PG&E. This office is not able to guarantee the accuracy of the information provided and the public should consider this release as general information and be prepared for a PSPS event that may have different timing and/or duration than predicted.

Temperatures are forecast to dip into the thirties this evening in the coastal and inland areas, with high twenties anticipated in the outlying areas.

Confirmed Community Resource Centers are as follows:

Humboldt Bay Fire Bode Classroom “Medical Device Charging Station” – 3030 L St., Eureka. Warming station, charging for medical devices, water, snacks

Tuesday, Oct. 29 – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department - 320 South Fortuna Blvd., Fortuna. Warming station, Medical Device charging only please

Tuesday, Oct. 29 – Opens at 8 a.m.

Eureka Municipal Auditorium - 1120 F St., Eureka. Bring your own charging equipment

Tuesday, Oct. 29 - To open when the power goes out to 4 p.m.

Humboldt County Library - 1313 3rd Street, Eureka, CA (PG&E-sponsored)

Tuesday, Oct. 29 – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Fortuna Fireman’s Pavilion - 9 Park Street, Fortuna, CA (PG&E-sponsored)

Tuesday, Oct. 29 – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Thomas Home Center - 1685 Sutter Rd, McKinleyville

Weekdays 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Hoopa Neighborhood Facilities – 11900 CA-96 (PG&E-sponsored)

Tuesday, Oct. 29 – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

To learn more about PSPS, go to pge.com/prepareforpowerdown or by calling 1-877-9000-PGE. Sign up to receive location-specific emergency information through Humboldt ALERTs at humboldtgov.org/alerts. Follow Sheriff’s OES on Facebook for the most recent updates.

www.facebook.com/HumboldtCountyOES/

USDA Offers Food Safety Tips for Areas Affected by Power Outages in California

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2019 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing food safety recommendations for those who may be impacted by wildfires in California.

The National Weather Service predicts critical to extreme fire weather conditions today and Wednesday in southern and northern California. Due to the predicted extreme weather conditions, Pacific Gas & Electric said it's considering proactively turning off power in these regions for safety. PG&E has already began cutting power for more than 2 million homes and businesses Saturday, including 1.3 million in the Bay Area. PG&E warns that these outages could last longer than 48 hours. For planning and safety purposes, consumers should prepare for outages that could last several days.

Severe weather events such as wildfires that lead to power outages can compromise the safety of your food. Without electricity or a cold source, food stored in refrigerators and freezers can become unsafe. Bacteria in food grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 and 140 °F, and if these foods are consumed, people can become very sick. Knowing what to do before and after a weather event can help you reduce your risk of illness. By following these guidelines, you can also minimize the amount of food that may be lost due to spoilage.

Steps to follow in advance of losing power:

  • Keep appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer to ensure temperatures remain food safe during a power outage. Safe temperatures are 40°F or lower in the refrigerator, 0°F or lower in the freezer.
  • Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers prior to a hurricane. These containers are small enough to fit around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold. Remember, water expands when it freezes, so don’t overfill the containers.
  • Freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately—this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
  • Know where you can get dry ice or block ice.
  • Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours.
  • Group foods together in the freezer—this ‘igloo’ effect helps the food stay cold longer.
  • Keep a few days’ worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling.

 

Steps to follow if the power goes out:

  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
  • Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross contamination of thawing juices.
  • Use dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible during an extended power outage. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.

 

Steps to follow after a weather emergency:

  • Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
  • Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
  • Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
  • Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.

 

FSIS will provide relevant food safety information for power outages on Twitter @USDAFoodSafety and Facebook.

 

FSIS’ YouTube video “Food Safety During Power Outages” has instructions for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe. The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” can be downloaded and printed for reference during a power outage.

 

Consumers with food safety questions can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or live chat via Ask USDA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Consumers can also browse food safety messages at Ask USDA or send a question via email to [email protected].

 







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