UPDATE 10/22/19 — Here is our latest from today:
UPDATE 5:45 p.m. — PG&E has issued a new press release in which, much like last time around, they list information which seems to contradict other information put out by reliable sources. Their statement includes Fort Bragg, Hopland, Redwood Valley, and Ukiah as areas where they may shut-off the power, but this directly contradicts the map released by the County of Mendocino. State wide 201,000 customers are expected to have their power cut and PG&E is now saying that 862 customers will lose power, and that most of them have been notified. In Mendocino 30 of these customers are “medical baseline,” meaning they depend on electricity for such medical needs as oxygen.
A similar thing happened last time, a couple weeks ago, where in the days before the power was actually turned off PG&E over-represented the extent of the outage, leading people across the county to stock up on supplies and otherwise prepare for an outage that never came.
Reached by phone Supervisor Ted Williams explained that he cannot explain the discrepancy but added, “It looks like a repeat of last time, with just as much margin of error as last time.”
A fire weather watch has been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) out of Eureka, for much of Mendocino County as is visible below:
And here is the map of the places expected to lose power in Mendo:
MENDOCINO Co., 10/21/19 — Pacific Gas & Electric announced last night that they were considering shutting off power, once more, in parts of Northern California in anticipation of inclement fire weather. Now the County of Mendocino has released a map showing exactly the areas of Mendocino County that are expected to have their power turned off: most of Potter Valley, and a sliver of the far southeast corner of the county along the Mendo-Sonoma line.
Again, none of this is definitive and PG&E has not be transparent in explaining precisely how they make the decision to shut off power, or when (an article in the San Francisco Chronicle from yesterday announced that the decision ultimately rests with just three execs at the company), but right now the utility company is planning to cut power at 2 p.m. Wednesday, and hopes to call the all clear at 5 p.m. Thursday.
PG&E is saying that they expect to cut power to about 1,000 customers in Mendocino County. The company counts customers, meaning households or business, not people, so 1,000 customers will be a few thousand people — during the outage a couple weeks ago power was cut to over 700,000 customers, meaning nearly 2 million Californians were left without power, and this time PG&E is planning to cut power to only 200,000 customers.
Here’s the press release from the County, and a detailed PDF map below:
Ukiah, California: October 21, 2019County of Mendocino
Potential PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff Scheduled for October 23, 2019 through October 24, 2019
The County of Mendocino has been notified by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) that power may be turned off in our area due to red flag fire hazard conditions. At this time, 15 counties and approximately 219,000 customers are anticipated to be effected, including portions of Mendocino County. At this time, potentially affected areas include Potter Valley and southeastern Mendocino County near the Mendocino/Sonoma County line. A preliminary PG&E map is attached. PG&E estimates that less than 1,000 customers in Mendocino County will lose power. This information continues to evolve and could change prior to the scheduled event.
The potential power shut off will be in three time periods:
• Period 1 – Sierra Area: 10/23/19-10/24/19 – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
• Period 2 – North Bay Area (Including Mendocino): 10/23/19-10/24/19 – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
• Period 3 – San Mateo Area: 10/24/19
Residents should be prepared with food, water, and any other necessary supplies for this potential extended outage. Residents can visit the County of Mendocino’s website www.mendocinocounty.org/community/public-safety-power-shutoff and PG&E’s website www.pge.com for power outage information, preparedness tips, lists of markets, grocery stores and fueling stations that may be open during the outage in your area. More information will be forthcoming as Mendocino County receives updates from PG&E.
For more information, please contact the Executive Office at 707-463-4441.
Carmel J. Angelo Chief Executive Officer
Here is our reporting from last night: