News


Partial power shutoff confirmed in San Ramon; Danville reportedly unaffected

More than 450,000 Bay Area residents are affected by PG&E power shutoffs

PG&E and city officials confirmed the utility implemented Public Safety Power Shutoffs in parts of San Ramon late Wednesday night (Oct. 9) that will run through about noon Thursday (Oct. 10). Danville remains off the outage list.

Those areas were originally identified for shutoff around 1 p.m. Wednesday, but PG&E initially announced a delay until 8 p.m. due to changing weather conditions. It appears that wave of shutoffs in the East Bay began around 11 p.m. Wednesday.

The company has said restoration of power could take multiple days as well.

The power outage is expected to affect more than 450,000 customers in all of the Bay Area counties except San Francisco. Shutoffs began as early as midnight Wednesday in some areas of the North Bay and could extend to Thursday afternoon, with another one to five days to restore power depending on the location and workload.

Some communities that could be affected by the power shutoffs include portions of Pleasanton, Livermore and Sunol On its website, the utility company called the move, “a precautionary measure to reduce wildfire risk during the forecasted severe wind event.”

A Red Flag Warning has been put in effect by the National Weather Service for parts of the North Bay and the East Bay hills and valleys from Wednesday at 5 a.m. to Thursday 5 p.m.

The NWS reported Tuesday afternoon that “strong, gusty and dry northerly winds” are expected to develop across the greater San Francisco Bay Area by late Tuesday night and continue through Thursday. Sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts of 45 to 55 mph are expected in those areas during the height of the event on Wednesday night. The agency also warned that locally higher wind gusts are possible.

The strongest winds are forecast in the hills but “gusty” winds in the valleys and near the coast “will result in critical fire weather conditions from Wednesday into Thursday, especially across the North Bay, East Bay, and Santa Cruz Mountains,” according to the NWS.

Winds are not expected to be as strong in the valleys, so wind advisories are not expected for those places. However, the NWS added that “winds in all the aforementioned areas will be strong enough to generate critical fire weather conditions when combined with the expected very low humidities and dry fuels.”

San Ramon Valley Unified School District officials said all of its schools are scheduled to be open as usual on Wednesday.

Officials are advising residents to prepare for the shutoffs by planning for any medical needs, such as medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power, and making sure their emergency supply kit is fully stocked with food, water (1 gallon every day for each person or pet in their household), flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies, and cash.

Residents are urged to learn how to manually open their garage door, find backup methods for charging phones, and have a personal safety plan in place for all household members including pets. They are also advised to ensure their backup generator is ready to safely use.

Community resource centers will be open during the shut-offs for Alameda County residents at Merritt College Lot B on Leona Street in Oakland. Contra Costa County residents can visit the Bishop Ranch Parking Lot in San Ramon at 2600 Camino Ramon.

On Tuesday, PG&E’s main website was down following announcement of the shutoffs, which was heavily criticized by users. As of press time, the site (http://www.pge.com/pspsupdates) was still unavailable but PG&E continues to post updates on their Twitter account @PGE4Me. A Twitter account is not needed to view their messages.

PG&E also has two other websites with limited information available about the power shutoffs: www.pgecurrents.com and www.pgealerts.com.

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Comments

31 people like this
Posted by Long Term Resident
a resident of Danville
on Oct 9, 2019 at 9:09 am

Between the highly litigious nature of California, free needle programs, sanctuary cities, homelessness, infrastructure problems, and now power outages, we are all getting a chance to live like folks in many third world countries. Of course, one big difference is the taxes we pay. Regardless of where one sits on the political spectrum, I hope voters will start voting for change instead of continuing to vote in the same candidates along a certain political party. What more will it take for people to wake up??


1 person likes this
Posted by 4generations
a resident of Danville
on Oct 9, 2019 at 10:40 am

The blame game is a real crusher. Find the perp, punish him till he breaks, then howl when it's discovered that he's crippled and can't leap to the demands of his masters.


5 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2019 at 8:01 pm

It's a power outage, not a natural disaster. Keep it in perspective.


7 people like this
Posted by San Ramon Neighbor
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2019 at 6:36 am

Very clear explanation for PG&E's power shutoff decision.
Sharing from a friend.

PSPS is the acronym for “Public Safety Power Shutoff”.
New Ca law (enacted by PUC and signed by Gov Newsome) REQUIRES utilities (ALL, not just PG&E) to de-energize areas that face severe wind threat/ fire risk.
This has the Doppler effect of potentially impacting huge swaths of the State if that threat impacts a “Transmission” (500/230KV) Tower corridor(s).
When that level of shut off is enacted, you don’t just flip a switch back on. The law requires PG&E to physically/visually inspect every single piece of equipment (down voltage) of the shut down BEFORE it can be re-energized. This means every tower, line, transformer, pad apparatus, substation, pole, reclosure, etc.
This is why a 2 day event can potentially keep areas dark for several days after the threat has passed. It is a MASSIVE man hrs. labor intensive process on 24/7 overtime staffing.
PG&E loses HUGE $$ when this is enacted as thousands of meters are not spinning and the labor cost to comply is huge. They don’t want to do these. They are legally mandated to now. This is the arrangement that was brokered through the PUC to balance the conflicting liability/service reliability laws. It is all driven because of California’s “Inverse Condemnation” liability conflict with PUC’s previous fining of PG&E based on outage reliability.

Prior to this law, power shut off or outage = fine on PG&E. Leave it on, and have ANY% role in a fire= 100% liability on PG&E.
If a limb 1/4 mile away blew into a transmission line and brought down hot conductor starting a fire?
PG&E liable. No such thing as “Act of God” factored.
No other State in the Nation has these asinine conflicts of law.

So, to make this real. This is analogous to you knowing your daughter MAY have a bad hair dryer. Until she leaves, you shut your house main off. Now, by law, before you can flip the main switch back on, you must hire an electrician to inspect (and document) every breaker below your main, every wire in your attic, every wall switch, every outlet, etc. Then, you must one by one phase in all your breakers so you don’t shock load the system, then you have to go back and program all your digital electronics.

Multiply this by 50K square miles.


4 people like this
Posted by Median Joe
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2019 at 7:03 am

Median Joe is a registered user.

Have Ice Cream thawing in your freezer?
Have Spoon, Will Travel.


4 people like this
Posted by Long Term Resident
a resident of Danville
on Oct 10, 2019 at 8:33 am

As long as power is restored before representatives return from Washington DC for the weekend, all is well!! This is all part of the Green New Deal. WE are all saving power and reducing greenhouse gases!!


9 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2019 at 2:42 pm

CA is run by a one party liberal dictatorship. This is what you get. Keep voting the same way & this will continue.


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