PG&E Issues Power Outage Warning for Santa Clara County

South Bay residents should start preparing for a possible widespread electricity blackout that could last up to a week, starting this Wednesday. To find out if you live or work in an area potentially impacted by the outage, click here.

Officials from Santa Clara County and the city of San Jose sent out an email blast Monday warning that PG&E plans to turn off power to reduce the risk of wildfire.

“PG&E has alerted county and city officials about the potential for a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff event impacting 29 counties in Northern California, including approximately 38,000 customer accounts in Santa Clara County,” the notice read.

Earlier this year, Northern California’s largest electric utility provider alerted the public and regulatory authorities that it may implement “public safety power shutoff” scenarios at times of “extreme weather or wildfire conditions,” according to the PG&E website dedicated to public information about the program.

During such a power shutoff, PG&E may turn off electricity for entire communities, cities or even counties in order to reduce the likelihood of live, damaged power lines igniting dry vegetation and sparking large-scale wildfires.

Such power shut offs may occur in areas where high winds and low humidity levels are expected, or where dry vegetation and other heightened risk factors are present, according to the PG&E website prepareforpowerdown.com. Public safety power shut offs may also occur when the National Weather Service has declared a “red flag warning” in a region or community. Regulators identified downed PG&E power lines as the cause of the Camp Fire in November in Paradise, the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history.

A map of the area potentially impacted by the outage. (Source: PG&E)

The city’s email today urges residents to be prepared to go without power for up to seven days. It also advises residents to sign up for PG&E’s phone and email notification system to receive updates on the scheduled outage. To sign up for such alerts, visit m.pge.com. A user must create an account in order to sign up for alerts.

San Jose has created a power vulnerability plan to prepare for and respond to the outages and said it will activate its Emergency Operations Center Tuesday evening.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo recommended that residents who lose power should “shelter in place.” “We do not want you driving on the roads,” he said. “That is because street lights and street signals will not be operational in those areas. For everyone’s safety, we do not want them driving.”

Lori Mitchell, the director of San Jose Clean Energy, also warned that clean energy customers could be affected too. “Although many residents are customers of San Jose Clean Energy, they’re also customers of PG&E for distribution services,” Mitchell said. “It’s important to realize that all customers are vulnerable to this.”

San Jose officials are particularly concerned that power will go out in eastern and southern parts of the city. Almaden Valley Councilman Johnny Khamis said his office has been reaching out to residents across social media and knocking on doors to warn them about the power shut off. He told San Jose Inside that he’s particularly concerned about elderly residents in his district who may need electricity to power certain medical devices.

“I have a lot of seniors that live in my community,” he said in an interview Monday evening. “A lot of them are [by] themselves and they don't tell other people about their medical needs. I’m hoping that the neighbors will get together and talk. Let’s use this as a preparation for something bigger.”

In addition, PG&E will open a community resource center on Wednesday at Avaya Stadium, 1145 Coleman Ave. The center will be open from 8am to 6pm for the duration of the power outage and provide customers with information, water, charging stations, and air conditioning. For local updates, follow @CityofSanJose, @SCC_OES and @PGE4Me on Twitter or visit www.sanjoseca.gov and www.pge.com/psps.

The city’s email also directed residents to PG&E’s website dedicated to the Public Safety Power Shutdown program. This site offers advice to the public on how to prepare for a large-scale outage. Such as:

• Create a safety plan for all members of your family, including pets;

 Prepare an emergency supply kit;

• Determine if your landline will work during an outage. Keep a mobile phone as backup;

• Keep mobile phones and other devices charged;

• If you have a generator, make sure it’s ready to operate safely;

• Have flashlights available for your household. Avoid using candles;

• Have a battery-powered or crank radio;

• Stock up on the right batteries for items you rely on. Include two extra sets;

• Keep cash on hand and a full tank of gas;

• Learn how to manually open your garage or any other door operating with electricity;

• Talk with your building manager if you live or work in a building with elevators or electronic card access to understand how they will deal with a possible multi-day outage.

During an outage, PG&E also advises customers to turn off appliances to avoid damage caused by a possible surge when power is restored; consider using coolers with ice to keep food cold and safe; use generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills outdoors only; check on your neighbors.

21 Comments

  1. > Officials from Santa Clara County and the city of San Jose sent out an email blast Monday warning that PG&E plans to turn off power to reduce the risk of wildfire.

    HOW ABOUT SHUTTING DOWN THE EFFING HOMELESS CAMPS ! ! !

    They are BY FAR the biggest risk for an uncontrolled wild fire.

    According to local fire firefighters who routinely deal with fires at homeless camps, they are fully equipped for outdoor living, including outdoor cooking.

    The have stoves, propane tanks campfires, They smoke like chimneys: cigars, cigarettes, pot. Oh, LOTS OF POT.

    And they are constantly fighting tribal wars and burning down each others tents.

    I’m willing to give PG&E some slack. They are taking reasonable precautions, not trying to start fires, and controlling those fires the do happen.

    The homeless? They’re clueless nomadic, survivalists with no investment in civilization. Fire is just bad medicine from the fire gods and a sign to move on to the next camp site.

    Mindless “compassion for the homeless” is just mindless denial of the imminent risk of random arson fires in a natural outdoor tinderbox.

    • S.J.O.Bubble,

      I couldn’t be more ashamed of you right now. Why criticize the only group who has actually figured out the whole problem. If we all gave up our energy-guzzling homes, with their water-wasting plumbing and washing appliances, and all started living along Guadalupe Creek like the wise homeless have already figured out is the way to go, we could all have housing without outrageous rent, we would help alleviate traffic gridlock, and if we just buried it wherever we took a dump, we might even make the soil more fertile for our now legal marijuana cultivations, all organic, of course.

      Go Green?! No you fool! Go Homeless!!!

  2. What good is a Community Resource Center at Avaya Stadium if residents are encouraged to shelter in place? This means residents from east and south San Jose would need to drive all the way to Avaya when traffic signals will also be down. The Community Resource Centers should be in the affected areas.

  3. LOL,
    THE MIGHTY AOC PLAN TO SAVE THE WORLD HAS ARIVED. YOUR ALL GOING TO DIE!

    I am so freaking glad we sold our house and moved out of F***ing California two months ago. Sure hope yall have natural gas generators to keep the lights on at night and a gun for every member of the family, anarchy is coming!

    Get a taste of the GREEN NEW DEAL, Al Gore must be peeing in his pants with joy, and will be on Colbert tonight.

    Real I feel sorry for my conservatives friends and family we left behind hope you are all strong enough to survive and escape back to the United States of Trump.

    Felix, SCCrazy shelter in place!
    Maybe Trump will send MRE’s, if you send Nasty Pelosi and Adam Schitt to Venezuela.

    Happy Halloween !

  4. > PG&E Issues Power Outage Warning for Santa Clara County

    Seems like a wakeup call for those intent on embedding the economically disadvantaged in marginal “below market rate housing” in San Jose.

    Your “below market rate” house may not be reliably supplied with electricity.

    Rich people living in market rate housing can fend for themselves.They can just board up their luxury houses for a couple of months during fire season and take an extended vacation in Maui.

  5. OMG, We may have to eat the babies!

    Seriously though this is just PG&E not doing their job again. If they are concerned about the power lines in populated areas they should be inspecting and repairing them before they are a problem. There were originally designed to with stand the weather. So what has changed.

    • > Seriously though this is just PG&E not doing their job again.

      Seriously, it’s just the environmentalist wackos interfering with forest management, protecting the sacred trees, and preventing controlled burns.

      All part of the globalist plan to depopulate California.and make it a private preserve for the Sierra Club aristocracy.

    • Jerold your an optimist.
      What changed?
      California infrastructure has grown old and the trees have grown up, and Johnny Pothead is running the government!

      • Optimistic that PG&E doesn’t want another lawsuit. This is just punishment to the customers for the lawsuits. Same as a 5 year old taking his football and going home.

        In the end it doesn’t matter if the lawsuits were justified or not. PG&E needs to suck it up and do their freaking jobs. Which includes delivering power.

        Then next lawsuit will be for the elderly deaths that can’t get access to A/C or children eating spoiled food. Not to mention the lack of police to keep the dark areas safe during the power outage. Heaven forbid someone should protect themselves around here.

        For the record Johnny (raised by the Gettys) Philanderer is running CA. I’m sure his power will be on.

        • > PG&E needs to suck it up and do their freaking jobs.

          What do you think PG&E’s “freaking job” is?

          It’s pleasing the California establishment elite and doing whatever they want a “social justice energy monopoly” to do.

          If the “social justice energy monopoly” screws up, blame capitalism, blame incompetent corporate bureaucrats (NOT government bureaucrats).

  6. Back in the mid 1990’s PGE was a regulated, monopoly investor owned (IOU) utility. Let that sink in. Back then service was great, power was relatively cheap and everything was fine.
    then some Dillweed govt types who didn’t know sh*t from Shinola decided that “competition” was needed and then de-regulated the electric utilities in CA.
    Understand there are 4 components to electric service. 1. Generation (dams, etc) 2. Transmission (big power lines across the state 3. distribution (where the big juice gets broken out into portions of the city) 4. Billing
    so when the dumb *ss politicians de-reg the industry they made PGE sell off its generation to other (out of state) firms. Approx 25 dams in the mountains PGE had built years ago, paid off and generating electric upon demand (run turbines in the daytime) – now PGE has to buy power from these firms. this is done through the Independent State Operator (ISO) -so now you are buying electric power from PGE from a firm that has to make a profit in a transaction overseen by the same government that runs your DMV – – have your electric bills gone done – – suckers?

    It gets worse. Since the state decided it wanted a “free market” electric service for you- – – anybody could sit down at the poker table and play a hand – – remember rolling brown outs? remember Enron? there is more to this- – but look here — – –

    remember the deregulation was for Investor Owned Utilities – – there are some Municipal electric utilities that got special deals from the state. Places like Santa Clara electric get “special” deals from the state run ISO – -i.e. they get to buy federal power (Bonniville dam, etc) through the ISO that IOU electric companies can’t – -federal power is cheaper – – heres the kicker. Any utility can buy power through the ISO months in advance and then sell it later. so if you are a muni utility you can buy cheap federal power today for next June, July, Aug – -and then sell it during those months to the IOU’s at a higher price. there are brokerage rooms at these muni’s right now with teams negotiating deals while you read this. Because cities with muni electric’s get much cheaper power – they can make good deals with large electric (silicon giants) users for good rates – – this in turn generates huge tax base for those muni’s (better schools, roads, etc) – – now stop and think where many of these big electric users are located. Oddly these electric contracts are NOT public info even though the utility is a public entity. Hmmm.

    if you understand how the once really good PGE has fallen on hard times- it helps to know some of the background.

  7. > if you understand how the once really good PGE has fallen on hard times- it helps to know some of the background.

    Whoever owns PG&E — it’s impossible to know anymore — it is totally beholden to the political class. PG&E will do whatever goofball social program the political class wants so long as the political class lets PG&E raise rates or borrow money.

    The reality is that PG&E is run by Maxine Waters, Adam Schiff, the Sierra Club, the California Democrat Party, and whatever other miscellaneous lunatics can screech loud enough to “demand a seat at the table”.

  8. Your not cheering up here Mr. Bubble.

    Again thank God we made it out of there in time. What’s really scary is that if they actually do shut down power to the bay area is that reproduction’s will spread across the country.

    No power no banking, no shipping no receiving, no food, no gas, no phone’s, no emergence services, no police, no water.

    I always thought that I could run over to the creek for water till I realized the water was being discharged from the water treatment plant up on the hill.

    Trump may have to declare California the next disaster area because of it’s stupid government.

  9. Let’s not forget San Jose’s “green power” gestapo conversion. Sounds attractive until one reads the fine print. Prices skyrocketed in SF that SJ officials chose to overlook in favor of yet another bureaucracy and government revenue stream. “Green” means that burning sewage, cattle feedlot solid waste, vegetation, and other greenhouse gas producers are used. Solar and hydro are just a fraction of the total “green energy” output.

    Then there’s the ‘all electric’ new construction mandate SJ recently approved. Many were able to cook and shower after the ’89 quake knocked out power for days. Not so for those reliant on electrons unless in coveted Block 50 areas.

    • > Then there’s the ‘all electric’ new construction mandate SJ recently approved.

      So, how do all electric homes work when PG&E shuts off the electricity for five days a year — EVERY YEAR from now on?

      • “All electric new construction mandate”, place a large roll up door at the back of such buildings, so the dead bodies and their belonging can be hosed out into a trough leading to the Soilent Corporation processing plant.

    • > What areas of San Jose willl lose power?

      Those areas where the Trump voters live.

      The Dems have been itching to get revenge since 2013 for Chris Christie closing the lanes on the George Washington Bridge serving the Democrat burgs of New Jersey.

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