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PG&E may cut power to 30 counties in NorCal for 'severe wind event, Alerts sent out at 4am for tomorrow

Squarehard

Member
Oct 27, 2017
11,128
PG&E is monitoring 30 of California's 58 counties for a potential power shut-off due to a "severe wind event" forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.

The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for the North and East bay hills, Santa Cruz Mountains, and the North Bay and East Bay valleys. The alert is for Tuesday night through Thursday. Because of dry conditions, very low humidity and gusting winds, there's a high potential for fire danger.
PG&E announced Monday morning it is watching weather conditions in order to determine if power needs to be turned off in Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lake, Mariposa, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba counties.
Significant winds will be coming out of the northwest, blowing from inland areas toward the ocean. These are the gusty conditions that create critical fire weather. The north to northeast winds, often called Diablo winds, will be blowing 15 to 25 mph with isolated gusts up to 45 mph.

The shut-off warning comes just a day before the anniversary of the North Bay Fires; the destructive series of wildfires sparked on Oct. 8, 2017.
If your power is going to be shut off, PG&E says it will contact you via telephone, text and/or email with a timeline for shut-offs. PG&E recommends unplugging or turning off appliances to avoid damage caused by a power surge. If possible, keep cell phones and other devices charged and make sure your supply of flashlight batteries is fully stocked.
Shut me down if old.

Update: Looks like the alerts have been sent out earlier this morning, as I received mine at 4am.

 
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Curler

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,280
Didn't hear about this yet, but an inportant PSA since that outage would cover a HUGE region... time to get my portable batteries fully charged.
 
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Squarehard

Squarehard

Member
Oct 27, 2017
11,128
tbh probably has to do more with their squeamishness over more fire damage liability than any real threat to safety.
It's definitely more about preventing more money that will be sunk in to trying to battle more fires, and more lawsuits, so it's a financially smart play from their perspective.
 

Mandos

Member
Nov 27, 2017
7,106
Oh good, not announced for my area. Been worried about these for the last few months. Not to mention the fact it’d tank my areas economy with the number of restaurants around here
 
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Squarehard

Squarehard

Member
Oct 27, 2017
11,128
Of course. I guess this prevention is better than none. They did obliterate an entire town >_>
Better safe than sorry will be the approach moving forward.

I'll definitely make sure to have all my shit charged up before then though in preparation.

Luckily I have so many devices, at the very least I won't be bored if it does happen, lol.
 

Sulik2

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,989
Uhm these are not very powerful winds. Wth kind of infrastructure are they running where they can't tolerate a decent wind gust? Power stays up in thuderstorms with a lot harder winds then this in other places in the country.
 

Figgles

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,332
Those are strong winds, but not that strong. Brilliant move turning off the power though. Here comes a forest fire started with candles.
 

Dalek

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,623
What a mess. I live in Alameda County and work from home.

Also the school district said that if power is shut off they will send our kids home.
 

Zulith

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,456
West Coast, USA
Well, when I type in my addess it says I'm not impacted but on the map the area where Im located is BARELY inside the line so... I know how my luck is, i'm probably impacted.

I just can't imagine going without power for up to 5 days due to their shitty infrastructure...

It's going to get high 70s - mid 80s for many of those days too. Can't even run a fan... wow. This is really their solution?
 

Slayven

I don’t know what you’re talking about
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
39,407
Oh good, not announced for my area. Been worried about these for the last few months. Not to mention the fact it’d tank my areas economy with the number of restaurants around here
I appreacite the irony between your post, avatar, and this thread
 
We just moved to Sonoma County this summer and my partner is a public information officer for the county, so we fortunately are getting a slight heads up on what to expect because PGE is being very frank with county employees and emergency preparedness staff; in stark contrast to how they’re rolling out information to the general public.

tbh probably has to do more with their squeamishness over more fire damage liability than any real threat to safety.
The way most of their infrastructure is laid out is in these big corridors of high-power lines that provide electricity to whole counties or sections of counties, so turning off power near a more danger prone area 100 miles away is likely resulting in power getting shut off where I’m at (eastern Santa Rosa).

So then the big issue is if any damage happens to the lines either through one being downed or something crashing into it, turning on the power would likely start the type of fire they’re trying to avoid, so before they can do that they have to send workers out to physically inspect every inch of line along the stretch that was turned off before turning it back on. Estimates for expected time without power range from 24hrs up to 5 days. Cities like the one I live i now are NOT prepared for a 3+ day stretch without power.


Considering what happened last year, this doesn’t seem terrible.
People will eat each other if a multi-day outage happens in a larger city. Plus after 6-8 hours they are saying to be prepared for cell towers to go offline as well.

"But we're saving everybody a ton on their electric bill!"
PGE sent us a notice that our rates are going up actually. Hooray monopolies.
 

Dalek

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,623
Just got a text-

"This is an advisory message from Alameda County. You are receiving this message because it is likely that PG&E will be disconnecting power to over 35,000 residences and business in Alameda County starting early Wednesday morning, October 9th. Power is expected to be off up to five days. We encourage you to find alternative energy sources for light, charging devices and other necessities...."
 

flyinj

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,856
Just got a text-

"This is an advisory message from Alameda County. You are receiving this message because it is likely that PG&E will be disconnecting power to over 35,000 residences and business in Alameda County starting early Wednesday morning, October 9th. Power is expected to be off up to five days. We encourage you to find alternative energy sources for light, charging devices and other necessities...."
I assume "give days" is five days?

Holy crap .
 

studyguy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,002
So there are basically area wide blackouts they had already been recommended to act on in order to stop a sparking since they seem to be slow to fix some lines. The issue is that they've had multiple years where people report 'your line looks like it's gonna go down' and they do shit all to fix it, leading to a fires.

As far as winds go, it's not fun, I'm down south so Santa Ana winds inevitably come back during the fall season and kick up mass windstorms that fuck everything up, it's no different up north. Personally I'd rather have the electric companies actually fix their infrastructure but obviously that takes time, so if it's a short blackout, I'd rather that over another Paradise fire. Our city was spared by the Thomas Fire, but I can still vividly recall watching the horizon burn overnight, shitting a brick through it all.
 

MoonScented

Member
Oct 28, 2017
561
Just got a text-

"This is an advisory message from Alameda County. You are receiving this message because it is likely that PG&E will be disconnecting power to over 35,000 residences and business in Alameda County starting early Wednesday morning, October 9th. Power is expected to be off up to five days. We encourage you to find alternative energy sources for light, charging devices and other necessities...."
Fuuuuuuuuuuck that. Good luck, NorCalEra. If I had the means, I’d lock everything up and check into a hotel out of town for a few days. I’d also never get over my food going bad in the refrigerator.
 

Supercrap

Member
Oct 28, 2017
970
Oakland Bay Area
Just got a text-

"This is an advisory message from Alameda County. You are receiving this message because it is likely that PG&E will be disconnecting power to over 35,000 residences and business in Alameda County starting early Wednesday morning, October 9th. Power is expected to be off up to five days. We encourage you to find alternative energy sources for light, charging devices and other necessities...."

Whoops I was trying to quote dalek
 

Dalek

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,623
I've considered going to my in laws for that time, but we have cats here and I'd be worried someone would try to break in while I was gone. My security cameras won't be working and no one would be able to call me.
 

Zulith

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,456
West Coast, USA
I’ll be moving if this is the new normal. Not worth paying what I’m paying to deal with five day power outages several times a year. I suspect many others won’t either. Maybe once this starts impacting land value shit will get done.

my power went out several times over the last month already. Some were a few mins but one lasted many hours.
 

Allforce

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,930
Time to invest in a generator, NorCal!

Actually at this point good luck finding one on store shelves or rental places. We went 5 days without power after a tornado hit power lines nearby a few years ago, after 1 day I had enough and bought a generator and we were watching blurays that night and drinking cold beer.
 

Supercrap

Member
Oct 28, 2017
970
Oakland Bay Area
I've considered going to my in laws for that time, but we have cats here and I'd be worried someone would try to break in while I was gone. My security cameras won't be working and no one would be able to call me.
Sorry I was trying to ask earlier, what city are you in? My homes in Union City / Hayward / Fremont area and haven't gotten a text yet
 
Just got a text-

"This is an advisory message from Alameda County. You are receiving this message because it is likely that PG&E will be disconnecting power to over 35,000 residences and business in Alameda County starting early Wednesday morning, October 9th. Power is expected to be off up to five days. We encourage you to find alternative energy sources for light, charging devices and other necessities...."

Yup. There it is.

Is this the first you’ve heard about how long you could be without power? I’m curious how Alameda County and/or PGE has been communicating it out there, especially given the population is 3x larger than Sonoma County and contains major population centers like Oakland.
 
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Squarehard

Squarehard

Member
Oct 27, 2017
11,128
To be fair...my wife is looking at some map with circled areas and her job location isn't circled. That being said I'm not able to load that same map on my computer at home.
No worries.

Here are the two texts I got.

Since I'm in these immediate areas, probably the reason why I only got these two.

 
My wife works in Hayward and they say she won't be affected. So we won't have power at home but she will have to go to work. How odd.

Because of my partner’s job with Sonoma County, they’ll be required to take shifts at the county’s emergency command center, and since we’ve only the one car it means no escaping the power outage for us. They’ll have power at work obviously, but get to come home to no power, water, etc..

And the cell phone towers getting shut off I feel is going to be the last straw for a lot of people.