SACRAMENTO, Calif. — PG&E has launched a new forecasting tool, allowing people to see whether a power shutoff might be coming to their area.
The site looks at weather conditions that heighten fire risk: dry, hot and windy.
Because PG&E’s equipment is linked to the cause of more than 20 recent wildfires, including the deadly 2018 Camp Fire, the utility has stepped up its Public Safety Power Shutoff plan this year to include the de-energization of the big transmission lines during fire-favorable weather conditions. That means more communities are facing the potential for days-long power shutoffs, as PG&E preemptively shuts off the power, waits for the weather conditions to pass and then inspects every inch of the de-energized lines to make sure it’s safe to turn the power back on.
This has left communities scrambling to plan for days-long power outages.
On Tuesday, PG&E announced a new site to help people plan ahead – at least by seven days. It takes the weather conditions and produces one of four different Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) potential levels: not expected, elevated, PSPS watch and PSPS warning.
The map allows people to check humidity, precipitation, temperatures, wind speeds and wind gusts throughout 70,000 square miles of Northern and Central California.
“By expanding our network of weather stations and cameras and offering this real-time information to our customers and agency partners, PG&E continues to grow Northern and Central California’s awareness of weather patterns and the need to initiate a Public Safety Power Shutoff when conditions merit it,” PG&E Meteorologist Scott Strenfel said in a news release Tuesday. “Customers and communities need to prepare, and this weather intelligence complements the letters, community open houses, webinars, workshops, social media posts and more that we’ve used to emphasize that message.”
Check out the site here.
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