Pacific Gas and Electric Company electric crews will start patrolling in the air, in vehicles and on foot nearly all the power lines that were de-energized starting Monday for the Public Safety Power Shutoff event.
Once lines are inspected and found free of damage or hazards, PG&E can proceed with restoring power to customers.
PSPS UPDATE: Power has been restored to 30,000+ customers. Ground crews are patrolling lines to ensure they are safe to re-energize. Some air inspections paused due to poor visibility caused by smoky & hazy skies as well as gusty easterly winds. Thank you for your patience. pic.twitter.com/kocsgJqxCk— Katie Allen (@PGE_Katie) September 9, 2020
More than 3,000 PG&E personnel will patrol and inspect some 10,750 miles of transmission and distribution power lines Wednesday. Patrols start when the severe weather has subsided enough to make it “all clear” for crews on foot and in aircraft to do inspections of lines.
Restoration for the vast majority of customers impacted by this PSPS event is expected to be completed by the end of the day Wednesday.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the “all clear” was given for portions of four counties. PG&E meteorologists confirmed the “all clear” for many other counties overnight, meaning ground and helicopter inspections will start at daylight. The “all clear” for portions of a few remaining counties is expected around 9 a.m.
The shutoff impacted approximately 172,000 customers in portions of 22 counties: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Lassen, Mariposa, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne and Yuba.
Within the PSPS-affected area, PG&E weather stations registered 40 to 60 mph wind speeds overnight Monday with reports of 66 mph wind gusts in the Northern Sierras. These Diablo winds are strong enough to break tree limbs, blow them into power lines, and cause rapid fire spread.