San Francisco, Calif. (Nov. 20, 2018) — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is readying for the most rainfall since early April across Northern and Central California starting Wednesday and continuing through the Thanksgiving weekend.
PG&E electric crews and vegetation contract crews are on alert for potential outages and will be ready to respond to outages, and local emergency operations centers will activate as needed.
The company’s storm response won’t affect PG&E’s continuing restoration work in response to the Camp Fire in Butte County. As of Sunday, Nov. 18, more than 2,000 PG&E employees and contractors are doing gas and electric restoration work and removing hazardous trees in the fire zone.
"PG&E has been preparing for storms such as this for many months. PG&E has a plan, and we want to encourage our customers to have a plan as well," said Michael Lewis, PG&E’s vice president of electric distribution operations.
PG&E’s meteorology department utilizes a storm outage prediction model that is an effective tool to help the company respond to power outages more efficiently. The tool utilizes data sources to provide estimates on the potential timing, location and number of outages that we expect to see during a storm event.
PG&E is utilizing technology to help us restore power more quickly and efficiently after a storm. This includes the installation of automated equipment that "self-heals" the grid as well as timely and accurate outage data from our SmartMeter network.
These wet and windy conditions might cause trees, limbs and other debris to fall into power lines, damage equipment and interrupt electric service.
Heavy rainfall in areas impacted by the wildfires over the last several years might produce risk of mud slides and debris flows. PG&E reminds customers to heed all warnings from first-responders. PG&E meteorologists and seismologists will be monitoring the weather forecast closely and working with our Electric and Gas Operations team to understand the risk during each storm event.
PG&E’s meteorologists forecast that rain showers will spread across Northern and Central California on Wednesday with a stronger, wetter storm moving in late on Thanksgiving day and into Friday. Current forecast models suggest about two to four or more inches of widespread precipitation across the elevated terrain of Northern California is possible through Friday, which will decrease fire danger across the territory.
Stay safe during an outage
Here are some tips for PG&E customers in case outages do occur:
- Treat all downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others away from them. Call 911, and then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
- During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights instead of candles due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, keep them away from drapes, lamp shades and small children and never leave them unattended.
- Unplug major appliances during a power outage to prevent possible damage when the power is turned back on. Keep a light on to let you know when power is restored.
- If you have a generator, inform PG&E and do not use it unless it is installed safely and properly. If it is not, you risk damaging your property and endangering yourself and PG&E line workers who may be working on nearby power lines. Information on the safe installation of generators can be found on our website at pge.com/generator.