Oct. 29 10:23 a.m. EST | Warning Alert
Authorities are likely to shut off power for public safety across parts of northern and central California, US, starting Oct. 29.
This alert began 29 Oct 2019 14:15 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 Nov 2019 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Power outages
- Location: Central and northern California
- Start Date: Oct. 29
- Impact: Utility disruptions; likely associated transport and business disruptions
Officials plan to preemptively cut power in parts of 29 counties through northern and central California, starting Oct. 29, to reduce the risk of wildfires due to strong winds and dry conditions. The outages are likely to affect up to 600,000 customers and are scheduled to begin at 0700 Oct. 29. The outages could last more than 48 hours, but officials have not announced the exact duration due to changing weather conditions.
The California power outages are scheduled for parts of the Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba counties.
Traffic disruptions and longer driving times are possible during the affected period due to malfunctioning traffic signals. Disruptions to airport and rail services are unlikely. Power outages could also result in the temporary unavailability of essential services such as ATMs and filling stations. Blackouts could adversely affect security protocols, including alarm systems and electronic fences; opportunistic criminal activity could increase during electricity outages. Commercial disruptions during the outages are likely.
Background and Analysis
This will be the third round of preemptive power outages in parts of California in recent weeks scheduled by the utility company Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). Some of the more than 900,000 customers affected by the previous outages had not regained power as of early Oct. 29. PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection early in 2019, following numerous claims from customers affected by deadly wildfires in 2018, some of them allegedly caused by PG&E's infrastructure.
Plan for electricity disruptions from Oct. 29. Conserve batteries and restrict cellphone use to emergencies in case of an extended power outage. For safety reasons, monitor generators while they are operating due to potential fires. Unplug appliances and electronic equipment to protect against surge damage when power resumes.