Nearly all customers restored impacted by PG&E outage; prepare for more outages Saturday

Kate Larsen Image
ByKate Larsen KGO logo
Friday, October 25, 2019
PG&E to make decision on power shutoffs in North Bay, San Mateo County
PG&E will decide today whether or not to shut off power to more than 34,000 customers in the Bay Area.

SAN FRANCISCO -- On the same day as PG&E gives an "all clear" to almost all of the counties impacted by an outage, they announce a new round of shutoffs that could start as soon as Saturday for most of the Bay Area.

PG&E issued the "all clear" for all counties, except for Kern County. As of Thursday night, 93 percent of customers have had their power restored.

Approximately 178,000 customers were originality impacted by this PSPS-- nearly 165,000 customers in portions of 18 counties have been restored.

LIST: List of counties, cities affected by PG&E power outage in Bay Area, rest of California

PG&E is now warning of a third round of even more widespread power shutoffs.

In the Bay Area, the North Bay, East Bay and the Peninsula could be impacted due to extreme weather conditions expected over the weekend.

"We do think that it will be the strongest off shore wind event this season by a large margin," a Scott Strenfel, PG&E meteorologist, said. "And if models are correct, possibly the strongest offshore winds that we've seen in years."

In the North Bay, residents in Sonoma County, Napa County and Marin County have reported receiving alerts about possible shutoffs starting as soon as Saturday.

RELATED: How to prepare for PG&E power shutdowns

In the East Bay, both Alameda County and Contra Costa County estimates thousands of residents could also power in the next 36 to 48 hours.

The reason for the outages is because of a strong wind event-- one PG&E officials are calling the strongest this year. A PG&E meteorologist said that they are predicting 40 to 60 mile per-hour wind gusts in the impacted areas.


Despite the fire danger many PG&E customers who lost power during the shutoffs are expressing frustration.

Sonoma County residents and businesses are doing their best to cope with the latest PG&E outage.

"You can see some of them still need to be washed bc the power went out," said Susie Pryfogle, while she walked around her unlit kitchen inside her Kenwood restaurant, Tips Roadside.

Pryfogle says the restaurant unexpectedly lost power in the middle of lunch.

"We were expecting 3 o'clock, and it went off at 2:25."

Like many residents in counties affected by the PG&E outages, Pryfogle was confused by the information available on the PG&E website.

"Look online at PG&E and one site said that we weren't going to be affected at all, and then the other site said we were in the affected zone, so we didn't know what to do."

A small generator is keeping a few refrigerators cool, but Pryfogle closed the Tips Roadside and opened her tri-tip trolley-- hoping to make up a few bucks for all the lost business during the past two outages.

"We had a fire last year, I was evacuated. I understand," said Tricia Williams who just flew into town from Colorado, for a long weekend in Wine Country with her family. She found dinner at the trolley, but the outage is posing other problems.

"My mother, she's on an oxygen concentrator, so she needs to be plugged in, the battery power only lasts so long, so we're concerned mostly about that," explained Williams, who said their Airbnb rental did have power as of 6pm Wednesday.

PG&E trucks could be seen stopped at unlit intersections on Sonoma Highway.

Down the rood, Austin Creek Elementary school grew increasingly dark as the sun set.

"The impact on the community is really tough," said Mike Herfurth, the assistant superintendent of Rincon Valley Union School District in Santa Rosa.

Five of their eight campuses are closed Thursday and possibly Friday.

"Right now, we don't have emergency days built into our calendar, which affects the children's education because we won't have the ability to make these days up," said Herfurth.

Ricky's Eastbound in Santa Rosa shook up the blackout with a BYOL night - bring your own LIGHT, where neighbors met up for a night of drinking in the dark.

"You just have to kind of embrace it," said Pam Collum, who rode her bike to the bar.

But, just in time for closing, the wind whipped up at 8 pm.

For the latest stories about PG&E's Public Safety Power Shutoff go here.