TIMELINE: When your power could come back after PG&E power outage
PG&E says phase 2 is complete and if customers have not lost power by now, they will not lose it.
The counties impacted by the second phase are: Alameda, Alpine, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Mariposa, Mendocino, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus and Tuolumne.
About 513,000 customers were part of the first phase of the shutoffs in Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba counties.
RELATED: A look back at PG&E’s history of blackouts
PG&E says power restoration will begin this afternoon after the weather event. PG&E crews will then have to inspect every inch of their power lines and infrastructure, and depending on damage from the expected wind, power could be off in some areas until Monday or Tuesday.
The utility says as the weather evolves, they will provide updates about the power shutoff and restoration timing.
Worst fears were realized when a brush fire forced evacuations in Moraga early this morning. PG&E cut power in the area hours before the fire erupted.
No injuries and damage to homes have been reported.
The power outages are impacting 32,680 PG&E customers in Alameda County and 51,310 customers in Contra Costa County.
LIST: Counties, cities affected by PG&E power outage in Bay Area, rest of California
A new round of power outages means a new group of grocery stores trying to save product.
The Montclair Safeway in Oakland now has a refrigeration truck in the parking lot where employees are storing meat and frozen food. PG&E took away the power here late last night. Some people still came here in hope that it would be open.
“We have a generator but it broke and we are looking for ice. But of course everyone has already been here,” said Jan Stites of Oakland as she walked up to find the store dark and closed for business.
Adding to the complications of the day was the sporadic nature of the outages. One Oakland man had power at home and headed to Starbucks for coffee only to find it was closed.
“I was just trying to get coffee. I didn’t know the power went out. So I was kind of surprised that they don’t have power,” said Manas Itene outside the Montclair Starbucks.
At Diana Fung’s Oakland house, even the kids had different days because of the PG&E outage.
LIST: Schools impacted by potential PG&E power shutoff
“I have one child at school and one child who is not in school because the middle school is in the blackout zone. So it is inconvenient for sure,” she said.
The dentist office of Laurie Shepherd in Montclair also had to close today. They had to cancel 30 appointments today. They also closed yesterday because of the threat of the outage.
“We don’t know about tomorrow. We tried to get a hold of PG&E and there’s just a little block that says we don’t have that info right now- so, we don’t have that info,” said Registered Dental Assistant Sandi Pate.
She says it will be tough to reschedule everyone.
“The doctor is so busy. She is booked up six months in advance. To get an appointment with her we have it blocked out months in advance. So she will have to work extra hours, stay later to see one or two a day. She is usually off on Fridays so she will have to work Fridays to catch up on patients lost in the last couple of days,” Pate said.
The Caldecott Tunnel has remained open throughout the outage after Caltrans crews worked to provide backup generators for it.
The outage has caused the Oakland Zoo to close. Employees tell ABC7 they are most worried about their food supplies and endangered species whose exhibits require power to keep them alive. Some cannot handle losing power for even a moment, especially in the biodiversity center.
VIDEO: Oakland Zoo worried about animal safety, especially endangered species
Officials have eight generators and food supplies that will hold them over temporarily, but should the power stay out, further action will be required.
Joaquin Miller Park along with Dimond, East Oakland and Sheffield Village recreation centers in Oakland are also closed.
There’s a lot of worry and anxiety in the North Bay where up to 200,000 people are still in the dark, impacted by the PG&E shutdown.
Jacquie Lamica was unloading all the perishable stuff from her fridge which stopped working when the power was cut. She’s taking it across town to her daughter’s house who has electricity.
“I’m saving all the dairy and meat because it’s expensive, I don’t want to lose it, they say it could be five days,” said Lamica who lives in Santa Rosa.
A giant generator was powering Russian River Brewing Company’s operation at the cost of about $10,000 per day.
RELATED: Are you ready for a blackout? Here’s how to prepare if PG&E cuts electricity during high wind, fire danger
“This was their choice to do a public safety shut off, I support it but I’d like more information from PG&E because I need to run my business,” said owner Natalie Cilurzo.
In Sonoma County, PG&E says approximately 66,000 customers continue to not have power.
In Eastern Santa Rosa, the outages have taken a toll. At the Baskin-Robbins store inside the St. Francis Mall, Don Snider and his wife, Chris, had to clear gallons of ice cream from their cases. “The freezer is supposed to be able to keep them cold for three days,” Don said. “That didn’t work last time.”
Chris, meantime, kept working in at the back, seeing only with a battery-powered light. She wasn’t happy. “I was going to submit a claim to PG&E for the outage during the fire today,” she said. “Don’t know what good it will do. They’re bankrupt.”
Inside a Valero service station and store at Highway 12 and Farmers Lane, manager Angel Ramos wasn’t happy, either. “We’re going to lose money. We need to send all these perishables to another store.”
VIDEO: PG&E answers questions: What does it take to turn power back on, where to go for updates
Just moving from point A to point B in this outage has proven to be challenging. Traffic lights are out. The Santa Rosa Fire Department reports more accidents than usual. They even had one call Wednesday morning to a home where the owners had begun to feel the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. “Keep your generator outside,” said Assistant Fire Marshall Paul Lowenthal. “Run one inside and it will become a health hazard.”
Doug Jones has health concerns for another reason. He needs electricity to charge a device that makes oxygen, allowing him to sleep. We found him topping off batteries inside a PG&E community resource center near the county fairgrounds. “PG&E should have taken care of this for the past 50 years,” said Doug. “If they had, we would not be here, now.”
The store had some lights on but was closed. Safeway had a generator to try and save some food but did not have enough power to open for business.
The city of San Jose is urging people to use caution while commuting and offered a list of busy intersections and roads without power/working traffic lights that include:
- Capitol Avenue
- Capitol Expressway
- Alum Rock Avenue
- Tully Road
- Quimby Avenue
- Aborn Road
- San Felipe Road
- Silver Creek Valley Road
- Story Road
- Mckee Road
- Almaden Expressway
- Camden Avenue
San Jose has released an online tool to gather info about where power shutoffs are happening in San Jose. If PG&E can’t tell them, now you can.
Follow these steps to let the city know if power is out for you:
1. Visit this website
2. Indicate whether you are experiencing a power outage
3. Share your location
Example in the tweet below:
In San Mateo County, most of the areas in the PG&E fire zone are south of Highway 92, all the way to the Coast.
An estimated 14,000 to 15,000 PG&E customer in portions of San Mateo County lost their power overnight.
The Tom Lantos Tunnel at Devils Slide on Highway One has remained open through the outage.
For the latest stories about PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff go here.
ABC7 News’ Kate Larsen, Jobina Fortson and Amy Hollyfield contributed to this report.
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