Utility hints at possible power outage in California
The San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has said that strong winds could lead to another power outage in Northern California...
San Francisco: The San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has said that strong winds could lead to another power outage in Northern California this week.
PG&E said on Sunday that it was monitoring a potentially strong offshore wind event on November 20, which suggests a possible prevention measure of Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) that will cut power supply for some customers in North Valley, North Bay and the Sierra Foothills, reports Xinhua news agency.
The utility said the lack of rain, dry vegetation, recent extreme winds, as well as above-average temperatures for this time of year were likely to ignite wildfires.
Although the forecast for the next three days remains unstable, PG&E said current projections "reflect a possible weather event similar to previous PSPS events that impacted about 180,000 customers" in October.
The company enforced twice, weeks apart, the PSPS programme last month due to high winds and critical fire weather conditions, which affected millions of people in more than three dozen counties in the Bay Area and Northern California.
The massive blackout drew harsh criticism from the public and California Governor Gavin Newsom, who blasted PG&E at a press conference in October for decades of "mismanagement" of its power supply lines and equipment.
PG&E had insisted that the PSPS measure was designed to reduce the threat of wildfires that could be sparked by lines brought down in gusting winds.
Beset by mounting failures and liabilities, PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection in January this year, facing up to $30 billion in wildfire liabilities and possessing an aging infrastructure in bade need of replacement, after it was sued by victims of deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018 in Northern California.