Published: Wed, October 09, 2019
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800,000 Californians may have power cut to help prevent wildfires

800,000 Californians may have power cut to help prevent wildfires

A detailed map posted on PG&E's website also showed Tesla Inc.'s Fremont factory lying outside the zones, as well as San Francisco, PG&E's hometown.

PG&E has come under fire for its role in a series of catastrophic wildfires across the state.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January 2019, citing potential civil liabilities in excess of $30 billion from the North Bay and Camp Fires. The shutoff is expected to impact electric service for almost 800,000 customers statewide, PG&E said in a statement. PG&E has begun switching off transmission lines in advance of high winds.

"This is shaping up to be one of the most severe dry wind events we've seen in our territory in recent years", the utility said in a statement. PG&E will not begin restoring power until the severe weather has passed, and is thus asking customers to brace for an "extended outage" that could last several days.

"We are now experiencing high volume of traffic to our website & understand your frustration w/ the delay of accessing #PSPS related web pages", PG&E tweeted Tuesday morning. Another major fire sparked by its equipment could upend its restructuring plans by creating new claims that would take priority over existing ones.

The website has functioned intermittently since 1 p.m., with frequent issues observed. The National Weather Service has predicted severe winds in northern and central California starting about that time, possibly continuing through mid-day October 10.

The California Department of Transportation has been working with the utility company to secure backup power generators to keep the Caldecott Tunnel in Contra Costa and Alameda counties and the Tom Lantos Tunnel in Pacifica open, spokesman Bart Ney told CNN.

Northern California's largest utility provider confirmed Tuesday afternoon that it will "proactively" turn off power for almost 800,000 customers-including an unknown number in Morgan Hill-as a forecast of high winds moves onto the coast. That process can not begin until the severe weather event has subsided. "We're like a little grid of our own", he said.Back-up generator manufacturer Generac Holdings Inc. said it expects to see a spike in consultations and leads following the planned outage.

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