Residents of Northern California that were bracing themselves for blackout for next couple of days are likely to face a longer duration one during the weekend. Pacific Gas and Electric Corp (PG&E) which is the state’s largest public utility provider has started shutting off power to almost half a million residents this week which the region’s second expansive blackout in the last couple of weeks. The firm stated that this is due to continued hot dry winds and low humidity in the region which is creating risk of sparks and rapid spread of wildfire through its neglected power lines. The firm announced that these blackouts will spread across 17 counties including large communities in Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Napa Valley but will not extend to San Francisco and San Jose until towards the weekend by Thursday or Friday afternoon when blackout will spread to other regions.
According to address by PG&E’s director of environment health and safety Mark Quinlan, only when the last of current dangerous conditions ends its crew will inspect the 8000 miles of power lines across the wilderness to access damage. The recent bushfire across the Sonoma County that broke out this week has already enveloped several thousand acres forcing 2000 people to evacuate the region. In southern California services provider Edison (SCE) has cut off power to around 27000 customers this week and announced that it will cut off power for 400,000 more.
This blackout would cover large communities like San Bernardino, Irvine, Glendale, Malibu and Palm Springs. Los Angeles would be left alone as it is being powered by a separate power company. Blackout in Northern California could affect 450000 people while a similar situation in southern California could affect more than 1 million consumers. Business owner of Alice’s restaurant in San Mateo Jamie Kerr spoke about his frustration that PG & E was going a little too far.