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Pacific Gas & Electric announces potential Public Safety Power Shutoff event for Kern County

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Posted at 7:53 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 22:53:14-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Pacific Gas & Electric announced a possible Public Safety Power Shutoff for portions of Kern County.

The PSPS event is expected to begin Sunday and last through Tuesday. Officials said the highest probability areas for this PSPS includes portions of southern Kern.

A total of 649 customers across the county may be impacted.

“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility. PG&E’s 24/7 Wildfire Safety Operations Center and our team of in-house meteorologists continue to monitor weather conditions for this potential Diablo offshore wind event arriving Sunday morning and lasting through Tuesday morning,” said Michael Lewis, PG&E’s Interim President. “Initial forecasts indicate this could be our largest PSPS event this year so far. Our highest priority is to keep customers and communities safe and execute this event according to our plan and to then quickly restore power to all affected customers when it’s safe to do so.”

According to the PG&E website, the majority of the customers who may be impacted live in unincorporated areas of Kern.

The estimated shutoff time is between 4:00 p.m. and midnight Sunday. Power is expected to be restored by Tuesday at 10 p.m., if not sooner.

PG&E suggests customers prepare for PSPS events by doing the following:

  • Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
  • Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.
  • Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
  • Keep in mind family members who are elderly, younger children and pets.

Customer notifications—via text, email and automated phone call—began late Friday afternoon, approximately two days prior to the potential shutoff. You can find the latest updates on estimated power outage times and restorations here. You can sign up for alerts about future PSPS events by clicking here.

Customers enrolled in the company’s Medical Baseline program who do not verify that they have received these important safety communications will be individually visited by a PG&E employee with a knock on their door when possible.

A primary focus will be given to customers who rely on electricity for critical life-sustaining equipment. 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.