By Matt Nauman
With a series of wet storms heading toward Northern and Central California this weekend, PG&E reminds its customers that power outages might occur due to significant rainfall, potential flooding and high winds. PG&E is implementing its emergency preparedness plans and utilizing advanced technology to be ready to restore service to impacted customers safely and as quickly as possible.
“California needs the rain and snow, but wet weather can create hazardous conditions,” said Pat Hogan, PG&E’s senior vice president of Electric Transmission and Distribution. “With storms bearing down on our region, we want our customers to know that PG&E is prepared, that we’re mobilizing resources and that we will work around the clock to restore service to customers. Likewise, we encourage our customers to have a personal or family preparedness plan in place and — above all else — stay safe.”
PG&E meteorologists forecast that much of the energy company’s service area will be impacted by storms from Saturday through Monday with additional storms on the horizon. In some places, several inches of rain could fall, creating the potential for flooding and landslides. PG&E recommends anyone recreating near rivers and streams to be aware of the higher flows and take precautions.
PG&E crews restored storm-caused outages earlier this week, and remain prepared and ready to respond to additional power outages as soon as weather conditions permit the safe restoration of power. The company also is pre-positioning vegetation management crews.
PG&E routinely practices its preparedness and response to storms and other emergencies through company exercises and through drills with local first responders.
The company also utilizes the latest technology to restore power more quickly and efficiently after a storm. This includes the use of storm outage prediction models crafted by company meteorologists, the installation of automated equipment that “self-heals” the electric grid as well as timely and accurate outage data from its network of more than 5 million electric SmartMeters.
PG&E urges customers to stay safe during storms and remember the following safety tips:
- Always treat low hanging and downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others away from them. Be aware that trees, pools of water and other objects that may be in contact with power lines. If you see damaged power lines or electrical equipment, call 911 immediately and then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
- 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 and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
- Customers with 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 crews working on power lines.
- 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.
- Other tips can be found at pge.com/beprepared.
Customers can sign up for outage alerts or by checking the outage map on www.pge.com.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.