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PG&E Prepares for Possible Storm Outages

Winter storm moving in Wednesday evening may cause power outages
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Winter storm moving in Wednesday evening may cause power outages

Residents of Humboldt, Mendocino and Lake Counties should prepare for possible power outages during the winter storm rolling in Wednesday evening, according to a press release from Pacific Gas and Electric.

“PG&E meteorologists are expecting the cold front to move into Humboldt County tonight and will work southward into Mendocino and Lake Counties,” PG&E Spokesperson Deanna Contreras said in a press release sent to The Lumberjack. “We are expecting power outages due to wind and rain and also on Thursday due to snow accumulation in the upper elevations.”

The release said PG&E will mobilize crews to remain on-call throughout Wednesday night to respond to any outages. The release also noted that PG&E plans to activate its Operations Emergency Centers.

The release went on to provide a number of safety tips during the storm, which is forecasted to last at least into Thursday, with “unsettled weather” possibly lasting into next week.

Tips included not touching downed wires, avoiding the use of candles and turning off appliances to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. See the press release copied below for the full list of tips.


PG&E Alerts Customers: Have a Plan for Cold, Wet and Windy Weather

Potential Outages Are Possible Due to Approaching Weather

EUREKA / UKIAH / CLEARLAKE, Calif.—With unsettled weather expected to return to its service area this week, PG&E is asking customers to have a plan for inclement weather and be prepared for unexpected power outages.

PG&E meteorologists are forecasting a change in the weather pattern over Northern and Central California later this week. The most impactful storm of this pattern will start on Wednesday afternoon with wind, rain and mountain snow and last into Thursday. Unsettled weather may continue over the weekend and into the following week.

“An impactful winter storm is on the way and we’re asking customers to have a plan to keep themselves and their families safe. Our team of meteorologists is closely tracking the weather system and working with our employees in the field to stage resources and ensure we’re prepared to restore power safely and quickly,” said PG&E senior meteorologist Evan Duffey.

PG&E is closely tracking the weather system and will be mobilizing crews and materials into areas expected to feel the brunt of the storm, so they can get to work and restore service to impacted customers more quickly.

PG&E’s meteorology team has developed a Storm Outage Prediction Model that incorporates real-time weather forecasts, historical data and system knowledge to accurately show where and when storm impacts will be most severe. This model enables the company to pre-stage crews and equipment as storms approach to enable rapid response to outages.

Storm Safety Tips:

Never touch downed wires: If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move it—and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911 and by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.

Use flashlights, not candles: During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades, pets and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.

Have a backup phone: If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup.

Have fresh drinking water, ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling. Blue Ice from your picnic cooler also works well in the freezer.

Secure outdoor furniture: Deck furniture, lightweight yard structures and decorative lawn items should be secured as they can be blown by high winds and damage overhead power lines or property.

Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to customers, as well as crews working on power lines. If using portable generators, be sure they are in a well-ventilated area.

Turn off appliances: If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.

Safely clean up: After the storm has passed, be sure to safely clean up. Never touch downed wires and always call 811 or visit 811express.com at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked.

Other tips and more information can be found at www.pge.com/weather.

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