PG&E: Massive Power Shut-off to Hit 800,000 Customers; Could Extend Nearly a Week
October 9, 2019
California’s wildfire crisis will enter an unprecedented new stage Wednesday as PG&E plans to begin cutting power to about 800,000 customers.
California’s wildfire crisis will enter an unprecedented new stage Wednesday as PG&E plans to begin cutting power to about 800,000 customers, shutting down the electric lines that have sparked many of the state’s worst blazes and setting off a chaotic scramble of people preparing for an outage that could last a week in some places.
As word spread Tuesday of the preemptive shut-off — which is set to hit the Bay Area at noon — those in the locations expected to go dark stockpiled water and canned food and emptied store shelves of batteries for flashlights and cell phones. They made a run on gas pumps, causing lines that sometimes extended for blocks. And they hurried to help loved ones whose medical needs require electricity.
Transportation officials worked, mostly successfully, to keep open roads, bridges and tunnels, including the eight-lane Caldecott Tunnel that links Oakland and Berkeley to the suburbs to the east. Meanwhile, firefighting agencies staffed up. And school leaders canceled classes Wednesday on dozens of campuses, including UC Berkeley.
- Blue Monster Prep