Update: During Tuesday night’s press conference, PG&E once again reduced the number of customers who could be impacted by another Public Safety Power Shutoff. Now, roughly 189,000 customers in 16 counties could have their power turned off starting as early as Wednesday afternoon.
(KTXL) — Less than two weeks after Pacific Gas and Electric shut off power to millions of Central and Northern California residents, the utility is warning its customers that they could be in the dark yet again.
PG&E made the announcement about the possible Public Safety Power Shutoff Sunday. By Monday, the utility reduced the number of potentially impacted foothills and North Bay counties to 16, according to CEO Bill Johnson. Alpine County was included in a press conference held Monday night:
PG&E said it has already started to send notifications to some of the roughly 189,000 customers who may lose power as early as Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement sent Monday, PG&E said its meteorologists have noted high wind gusts for Wednesday night through Thursday afternoon, prompting their decision to start warning customers.
If they do happen, the power shut-offs would occur in three waves, with the first impacting people in the Sierra foothills by 2 p.m. Wednesday at the earliest. Those in the North Bay could lose their power an hour later.
PG&E said its meteorologists believe their Tehachapi and Kern County customers could be affected by dangerous winds by around 2 a.m. Thursday, which would mean those customers could experience outages as early as 1 a.m. Thursday.
Customers will know by Wednesday morning if they will lose power.
CEO Bill Johnson told reporters Thursday his meteorologists are tracking another high wind event that could start this weekend.
The utility also said it has worked on several issues that troubled millions of customers during the first round shut-offs that started Oct. 9.
Customers flooded PG&E’s website during the first PSPS event, leading to outages and confusion. Since then, PG&E said it has launched a new site, as well as improved their call center’s capabilities.
As a result, customers who want to pay energy bills during the potential power outages will have to wait until the shut-offs are over. They will also have to use the self-service option when calling the utility regarding non-shut-off inquiries.
PG&E also said it will work more closely with cities, counties and tribal governments whose residents could be in the dark.
This story is developing. Stay with FOX40 News for more updates.