Here We Go Again — PG&E Could Cut Power This Week

Holly Quan
October 21, 2019 - 8:57 am
: The Sebastiani Theatre and much of downtown remained dark on October 10, 2019 in Sonoma, California. Power outages were scheduled as preemptive moves by PG&E to address hot, dry and windy weather and the risk of wildfires, according to the company.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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Don't look now, but PG&E says it may be shutting power off again to customers in parts of the North Bay this week because of high fire danger.

Fewer customers could lose electricity than the intentional blackouts earlier this month that hit 730,000 homes and businesses. Still, PG&E has informed officials that the company may cut power in parts of Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties due to a forecast of high temperatures, low humidity and wind speeds of 30 to 40 mph starting Wednesday night. 

There is a "moderate risk" of a power shutdown, according to Santa Rosa's fire department, which already meeting to prepare for an outage in its area. 

Related: PG&E Fires Executive For Wine Outing Ahead Of Power Shutoff

State regulators chastised PG&E Chief Executive Bill Johnson on Friday over the company's handling of the recent deliberate shutdown that darkened parts of Northern California and the Bay Area. The California Public Utilities Commission, in particular, found fault with the company's failure to provide accurate and consistent information about the shutoffs. 

Johnson, however, said officials and customers should brace for occasional outages for years to come because more than half of the company's territory is in area that's now designated as having an elevated fire risk. 

"The fact is we did this for one reason and that is safety," said Johnson who maintained the outages were necessary.