It was the second consecutive public safety power shutoff in that week, after the company had previously left about 24,000 customers across three northern California counties in the dark. It's the latest testament to how climate change-driven extreme weather is forcing people and businesses alike to adapt. The potential outage area extends southward into Stanislaus County covering the small communities of Grayson and Westley.
The planned shutoff appears to spare most of Silicon Valley's big tech operations.
The City of Manteca Monday emphasized that information provided by PG&E to San Joaquin County Operations of Emergency Services personnel that Manteca along with virtually all of San Joaquin County will not be impacted this time around.
On September 13, the utility giant announced it had reached an $11 billion settlement with insurance companies for claims stemming from the devastating 2017 wildfires across northern California and the 2018 Camp Fire. PG&E has begun switching off transmission lines in advance of high winds.
"We are working directly with state and local agencies to help prepare our customers and the public for this safety event", Lewis said.
For PG&E, the stakes are especially high. Another major fire sparked by its equipment could upend its restructuring plans by creating new claims that would take priority over existing ones.
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An update was expected around 1 p.m.
In response to this anticipated event, the National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for vast portions of Northern California for midweek.
The utility's decision to curb electricity supplies proactively comes almost a year after the "Camp Fire", the deadliest fire in state history, killed 86 people and destroyed almost 20,000 structures in Butte County.
As a precautionary measure to reduce wildfire risk during the forecasted severe wind event, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) confirmed that it will implement a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in portions of 34 northern, central and coastal counties, affecting electric service for almost 800,000 customers.
As the Chronicle notes, of the recent shutoff notices and actual power shutoffs by PG&E, this is far and away the largest and will potentially have the broadest impact on commerce and daily life across a huge swath of the state. "We expect to have that information shortly and will update this post".
-With assistance from Nic Querolo and Brian K. Sullivan.