PG&E Cuts Off Power in East Bay as High Winds Gust the Region

Capriccia Thomas, Health Editor

Diablo Winds roaring through the North and East Bay Cause Power Shut-offs from PG&E.

A Red Flag Warning was issued by PG&E on Oct. 10, informing Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties that there will be potential power shut-offs in lieu of gusty winds.

According to reports by MSN, the planned power outages amid the high winds and potential fire risks are impacting over 25,000 customers in over 22 counties near the East Bay. PG&E meteorologists have been monitoring the heavy flow of winds of up to 50 mph, per reports on Oct. 11.

California State University, East Bay is powered by PG&E, and the campus facilities are taking protocol and following measures given by PG&E in the chance the site faces a shut-off. “Based on CSUEB preliminary discussions with PG&E representation, we are hopeful that our campus will not be impacted by these winds,” stated Loralyn Perry, LEED AP, BOC Cert. PM. Energy & Utilities Manager for CSUEB.

For students who live on campus, support and procedures are provided. “The University Housing Residence Life Department has procedures in place to inform and to support students,” said Perry.

Campus facilities are remaining watchful of the billowing winds. “We continue to stay vigilant and to address any impact resulting from high winds to ensure safety to our campus community,” continued Perry.

In conjunction with PG&E, the East Bay Community Energy is the local community choice energy program for Alameda County and the city of Tracy. EBCE secures power on behalf of residents, while PG&E remains responsible for the transmission and distribution (i.e., the poles, wires, meters, and other hardware).

PG&E determines when they will issue a Public Safety Power Shutoff, generally when there are hot, dry, windy conditions. However, EBCE does not have control over when PSPS is issued.

“PG&E provides us information about potentially impacted customers. We have been informed that less than 200 customers could have their power shut off. Our total service territory includes about 650,000 customers, so the current population of potentially impacted customers is very small,” stated Annie Henderson, Vice President of East Bay Community Energy.

After all, the Bay Area is home to the bay breeze. The influx of the heavy Diablo winds is frequent during the fall season, especially in October. The current dry season throughout the state can lead to secondary fire hazards because of this.

The dangerous conditions are preventable by limiting outdoor activities, removing debris of loose branches hanging near roofs and patios. For more information on what to do and how to be safe, please click here.