By Angela Lombardi and Jennifer Robison
Another monster storm blew in today (Jan. 10) with blinding blizzard conditions, heavy rain and howling winds hitting 150 mph in some locations. The hardest hit areas were Fort Bragg, Half Moon Bay and Scotts Valley.
But that didn’t stop distribution line technician Geraldine Bradley from donning her flash resistant pants and shirt, protective glasses, hard hat and all-weather boots.
“I love this job. It’s exciting,” said Bradley, who’s been with PG&E since 1984 and has worked as a troubleman since 2007. “I enjoy figuring out what’s going on at each location — the investigation, and then fixing it. It challenges you physically and mentally.”
Bradley is based in Redding but has been working on storm response around-the-clock in San Rafael since Sunday.
She is part of a much larger team of employees from throughout PG&E working in emergency response.
During this series of storms, the mighty blue army marched into the eye of the storm every day with more than 3,000 employees braving the elements or providing logistical and operational support.
Together, they’ve been working to restore power to customers during a series of monster storms — storms of the magnitude that California hasn’t seen for more than a decade.
As of this afternoon, some 652,000 customers experienced a power outage since the start of the storm, but 98 percent of those customers have been restored. Crews also responded to 168 damaged poles and 161 damaged transformers.
“We call them the Blue Army for a reason. They pack up and leave everything behind, including family, for days at a time,” said Jason Regan, PG&E Emergency Operation Center incident commander. “We are facing some brutal weather out there, but the dedication the Blue Army shows to get our customers’ power restored safely are second to none.”
PG&E is also receiving support from 36 mutual aid crews from Washington, Oregon and California.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.