Los Altos Hills is among communities across the state subject to a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) watch between Sunday (Oct. 25) and Tuesday (Oct. 27).
PG&E’s meteorological department is actively monitoring a significant offshore wind event that could lead to pre-emptive shutoffs, according to reports from the energy utility. Areas most likely affected include the northern and western Sacramento Valley, the Northern and Central Sierra, the higher terrain of the Bay Area (including the Santa Cruz Mountains), the Central Coast Region and portions of southern Kern County.
Los Altos Hills officials alerted residents of the potential outages via email, Nextdoor.com and other social media channels Friday afternoon.
PG&E initiates shutoffs as method for preventing electrical equipment from starting wildfires when extreme weather renders that equipment vulnerable. Transmission lines belonging to PG&E caused the deadly Camp Fire, which killed at least 84 people in November 2018. PG&E representatives pleaded guilty in June to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of unlawfully starting a fire, and a Butte County Superior Court judge ordered the utility to pay $4 million in fines and fees.
In September, Los Altos Hills Emergency Preparedness Manager Marsha Hovey hosted a webinar to present ideas for preparing for and managing through prolonged PSPS outages. The video includes tips for helping friends and family who rely on electricity to power assistive devices. View it by visiting vimeo.com/456223014.
For general information on shutoffs, visit losaltoshills.ca.gov/469/Public-Safety-Power-Shutoff.
To monitor the current PSPS watch, visit pgealerts.alerts.pge.com/updates.