Updated at 7:43 p.m. with press release from County of Humboldt:
PG&E to shut down power to Humboldt County
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has notified the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services (Sheriff’s OES) that Humboldt County will lose power at midnight tonight due to de-energization of two transmission lines originating in Shasta County.
Based on the most recent information from PG&E, most or all customers in Humboldt County will be without power. The outage may last for several days. Power restoration is tentatively scheduled to begin Thursday at noon, however full restoration may take up to five days after the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) has ended.
Sheriff’s OES has activated the Emergency Operations Center and is actively working with local partners to respond to the outage. Public safety is the first priority. Emergency dispatch will continue to operate during the outage. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911. Do not call 911 for information about the power outage. Outage information is provided by PG&E.
Adult Protective Services is contacting current clients with access and functional needs who are at risk of death as a result of a power outage. People who rely on powered medical equipment should contact their medical providers or suppliers directly to make arrangements during the outage. Anyone experiencing an immediate medical need or life-threatening emergency should call 911. This line will be heavily impacted and is strictly for emergencies only.
PG&E had been working to generate power from its King Salmon power plant to reduce impacts to Humboldt County. However, PG&E is now reporting that the plant will not be able to meet the county’s needs. The utility is now focused on keeping critical facilities online during the outage.
The decision to shut off power, the duration of the outage and the time of restoral is solely managed by PG&E. Learn more about PSPS and sign up for alerts at prepareforpowerdown.com, or call 1-877-9000-PGE.
Be prepared for power outages:
Stock at least three days of nonperishable food and water.
Treat any intersection without lights or with flashing lights as a four-way stop.
Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.
Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
Many medications are still usable for two to three days at room temperature, including insulin, which can keep for 28 to 30 days. However if you are in doubt, please check with your medical provider.
Review available supplies. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Keep at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food and water.
Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
Know how to manually open electric garage doors and gates.
Check with your child’s school district to find out about school closures.
Sign up for Humboldt ALERT at humboldtgov.org/alerts to receive safety information and be informed of imminent threats to personal safety or property, tailored to an address of your choosing.
Follow Sheriff’s OES on Facebook for the latest information. facebook.com/humboldtcountyoes
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – As a precautionary measure to reduce wildfire risk during the forecasted severe wind event, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) confirmed that it will implement a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in portions of 34 northern, central and coastal counties, affecting electric service for nearly 800,000 customers.
PG&E expects to begin turning off power in some areas early Wednesday, just after midnight. The power will be turned off to communities in stages, depending on local timing of the severe wind conditions, beginning with counties in the northern part of the state.
“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility, which is why PG&E has decided to turn power off to customers during this widespread, severe wind event. We understand the effects this event will have on our customers and appreciate the public’s patience as we do what is necessary to keep our communities safe and reduce the risk of wildfire,” said Michael Lewis, PG&E’s senior vice president of Electric Operations.
Customer notifications and impact
The company has been notifying potentially impacted customers and will continue to do so, via automated calls, texts and emails. However, customers not impacted by the PSPS may experience power outages due to PG&E equipment damaged during this major wind event; those customers will not be notified in advance.
It is very possible that customers may be affected by a power shutoff even though they are not experiencing extreme weather conditions in their specific location. This is because the electric system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions.
Portions of Kern, Humboldt, Trinity and Marin counties have been added to the potential scope of this PSPS, in addition to the 30 counties identified Monday. Customers can find the full list of impacted counties, cities and communities at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
Estimated time of restoration
Overall, based on the latest weather forecasts and models, PG&E anticipates that this weather event will last through midday Thursday, with peak winds forecasted from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning and reaching 40 to 55 mph, with isolated gusts up to 60 to 70 mph.
Before restoring power, PG&E must inspect its equipment for damage and make any necessary repairs. That process cannot begin until the severe weather event has subsided.
Given the prolonged period during which the wind event will unfold, and the large number of power line miles that will need to be inspected before restoration, customers are being asked to prepare for an extended outage.
PG&E will work with state and local agencies to provide updated restoration timelines following the conclusion of the severe weather event.