PG&E is about to shut off power to 800,000 customers in 34 counties in central and Northern California to stop its equipment from causing wildfires, if you’re curious about American infrastructure’s resilience under increasingly dire climatic conditions. https://t.co/iTg2SSJkYt
— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) October 8, 2019
Quote in the title from the Hoarse Whisperer tweet that linked this article. From the LATimes, “Unprecedented power shutdown coming as winds bring critical fire danger”:
… PG&E said the power cutoffs will begin just after midnight Wednesday.
The blackouts will impact 34 counties in central and northern California, including the Bay Area. It would be the biggest power shutdown so far as utilities across California attempt to reduce wildfire risk due to heavy wind. Utilities malfunctions have been tied to some of the state’s most destructive fires, including last year’s Camp fire, which devastated Paradise, Calif., and the 2017 wine country blazes.
“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,” the utility said in a statement. “This is because the electric system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions.”
Southern California Edison announced it too was considering preventive power outages. The utility said, in advance of possibly strong Santa Ana winds, power could be cut off to more than 106,000 customers in parts of eight Southern California counties.
Edison’s possible outage would primarily affect utility customers in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Also under consideration are areas in Ventura County and portions of Kern, Tulare, Inyo and Mono counties…
Thoughts & prayers to those in the affected areas, and Murphy only knows I wish that were more useful.