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Parts of Los Altos Hills to go dark Wednesday

PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff” width=
Courtesy of PG&E
A PG&E map shows the areas of Los Altos Hills that the utility expects to be affected by the outages.

Updated 11:30 a.m. Wednesday: Portions of Los Altos Hills will lose electricity starting Wednesday (Oct. 9) due to dangerous fire weather conditions that have forced PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs across the state, Hills town officials announced Tuesday afternoon.

Parts of Los Altos may also be impacted, the Los Altos Police Department warned in a tweet Monday.

Outages in Los Altos Hills will likely be limited to 514 residences located in the western foothills of town and are expected to start in stages around noon, said Deborah Padovan, town city clerk. The utility expects power to return to some locations starting at noon Thursday.

"We're hopeful that they'll get the power on relatively quickly, but it could take up to five days to fully restore power," Padovan said.

Despite previous reports to the contrary, Foothill College’s main campus and Sunnyvale Center will be open Wednesday, the school announced at approximately 5 a.m. Other schools in the area should also remain unaffected.

The shutoffs are a precaution due to forecasted gusty winds and dry conditions that could contribute to wildfire, according to PG&E. Following the deadly Camp Fire, which was sparked by PG&E transmission lines, the utility has started implementing preemptive power shutoffs when three weather conditions coincide: temperatures climb above 80 degrees, humidity dips below 20% and winds blow stronger than 25 mph.

Nearly 800,000 PG&E customers in 34 Northern and Central California counties – including approximately 38,250 in Santa Clara County – might lose power, according to the utility. An estimated 1,086 of impacted Santa Clara County customers are medical baseline customers who have special energy needs due to a qualifying medical condition.

PG&E’s address-lookup map, https://m.pge.com/#event-map, is intended to help customers learn whether their homes and places of work will be affected by shutoffs, but overwhelming traffic to the utility’s website has rendered the feature inaccessible at times.

“We are currently experiencing high volume of traffic to our website & understand your frustration w/ the delay of accessing #PSPS related web pages,” PG&E tweeted Tuesday morning. “We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as our team is working as quickly as possible to restore access.”

Learn what Los Altos Hills has done to prepare for Public Safety Power Shutoffs.

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