WILLITS, 3/30/21 — Many northern Mendocino and southern Humboldt residents woke up to a chilly and dark start to the day after winds knocked trees and branches into power lines leading to outages for around 8,172 PG&E customers in that region.
Though the outage lasted well into the morning, by around 9:50 a.m. electrical workers had managed to restore power to most of the affected people. Pacific Gas & Electric counts outages by the number of power meters, or customers, affected — which means households, businesses, and public buildings. So the actual number of people affected is always something like two to three times the number of customers, depending on the area.
According to PG&E spokesperson Deanna Contreras, transmission lines leading to five substations were impacted by falling tree limbs due to high winds. In electric utility terms, transmission lines are like the larger freeways delivering large amounts of power to a region. The smaller lines that send power to individual neighborhoods and homes are called distribution lines. When transmission lines are affected the result is thus a far larger number of people losing power.
The outage began early this morning, with Contreras say that by 3:40 a.m. most of these customers had lost power. However, by 9:45 a.m. most had had their power restored, though at least 300 customers in northern Mendocino remained without power, and without and estimated time of restoration.