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. 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,” said Pat Hogan, PG&E’s senior vice president of Electric Transmission and Distribution. “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.
PG&E routinely practices its preparedness and response to storms and other emergencies through company exercises and through drills with area 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.
Higher water flows
PG&E is also cautioning those going near rivers to take precautions and be aware of higher flows as the coming rain fills many PG&E reservoirs, causing them to spill.
After years of drought conditions, people may be caught off guard by the higher water flows.
PG&E is managing and monitoring water conditions along the North Fork Willow Creek, the San Joaquin River and other river systems where it has hydroelectric powerhouses, dams, canals and flumes. Fortunately, the rivers can accommodate much higher flows like those that can occur during wet years.
Water flows over the spillway on PG&E’s Crane Valley Dam at Bass Lake are expected to begin as early as Sunday as runoff comes into Bass Lake. Other PG&E reservoirs spilling or expected to begin spilling next week include Manzanita Lake and Kerckhoff Lake.
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.