Hundreds of thousands of residents throughout central and northern California are without electricity today as PG&E cut power overnight.
Shortly after 10:00PM Monday the utility turned off electricity to 172,000 customers as a “Public Safety Power Shutoff” (PSPS) in advance of predicted winds. PG&E is trying to avoid a repeat of past disasters where lives and property were lost in wildfires caused by PG&E lines.
The large scale outages today stretch from Mariposa County in the south to Shasta and Del Norte Counties in the north. Most heavily impact are residents in the Sierra foothills and in several Bay Area counties. Sacramento TV station KCRA-TV broadcast video from Nevada City where at 10:10PM Monday, the entire town was suddenly plunged into darkness. Tuesday morning, numerous schools reported they will not be able to open and some businesses also had to shut down.
PG&E says once the wind event subsides, power will slowly be restored after crews inspect lines for possible damage. But the utility is warning customer to prepare for a lengthy outage that could last until Wednesday evening.