(KTXL) — Both Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) are preparing for power outages as the next atmospheric river is expected to arrive in California on Wednesday.
According to SMUD, “if the forecast holds, extended outages are near certain.”
SMUD said that restorations may be delayed if the winds are too high or there is flooding restricting the crews from being able to safely work.
PG&E is also preparing for the storm by having hundreds of people working across the state to be able to respond to the outages.
PG&E said it is using storm outage prediction models to “help determine the potential timing, location, and number of power outages.” These models will help the company know where to send crews that are being hit hard by the storm.
“This weather system by itself would present widespread challenges, and we have to factor in that many parts of our service area remain saturated after last weekend’s storm. Our crews have been working tirelessly to ensure we minimize any impacts this storm may have on our customers and hometowns. We encourage customers to prepare for the storm now – have an emergency plan in case you lose power and update your contact information on PG&E’s website so we can provide you with real-time updates on outages in your neighborhood,” Angie Gibson, Vice President, PG&E Emergency Preparedness & Response said in a news release.
The storm is expected to cause more damage with rainfall overrunning the waterways as well as the wind affecting trees that sit on loose and still-wet soil since there has been little time for the region to dry off.
A high wind watch is also in place in Northern California as south-to-southeast winds will be 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 55 mph. These winds could bring down trees and powerlines.