•   
  •   
  •   

US Massive power outage in California sparks anger at PG&E: 'It is excessive'

19:50  09 october  2019
19:50  09 october  2019 Source:   latimes.com

TweetDeck experiencing widespread issues

  TweetDeck experiencing widespread issues The Twitter dashboard show performance issues at locations around the world.The issue appears to have begun around 6 p.m. PT, according to Outage Report, which indicated it received more than 1,300 complaints about the service in roughly half an hour. The outage map showed complaints originating from locations around the globe, but the bulk of outages appeared to be concentrated on the US East Coast and in Europe.

A massive planned power outage that could affect millions in Northern and Central California is sparking frustration and skepticism in some areas over whether the extreme action is the best way to reduce fire risk.

a truck is parked in front of a blue car: FILE - This Jan. 14, 2019 file photo shows Pacific Gas & Electric vehicles parked at the PG&E Oakland Service Center in Oakland, Calif. PG&E is expected to file for bankruptcy protection Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)© Ben Margot / Associated Press FILE - This Jan. 14, 2019 file photo shows Pacific Gas & Electric vehicles parked at the PG&E Oakland Service Center in Oakland, Calif. PG&E is expected to file for bankruptcy protection Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Pacific Gas & Electric began turning off the power at midnight to an expected 800,000 customers to reduce the risk of wildfires because of windy conditions. Some of California's worst blazes have been sparked by power lines, including last year's Paradise fire and the 2017 wine country fires.

Sparks fire GM Penny Toler in aftermath of profanity-laced tirade

  Sparks fire GM Penny Toler in aftermath of profanity-laced tirade The Los Angeles Sparks have fired executive vice president and general manager Penny Toler in the aftermath of a profanity-laced tirade directed at players that included a racial epithet following a playoff loss in the WNBA semifinals. © Leon Bennett LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 14: General Manager Penny Toler of the Los Angeles Sparks attends Los Angeles Sparks Media Day at Los Angeles Southwest College on May 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement.

But such a widespread shutdown has some questioning whether PG&E is going too far.

State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), whose district lies within the blackout area, acknowledged there is a fire danger that requires the shutting down of some power lines, but he called the extent of the possible outage troubling.

"I think it is excessive," said Hill, a longtime critic of the utility. "PG&E clearly hasn't made its system safe. These shutdowns are supposed to be surgical. But shutting down power to 800,000 people in 31 counties is by no means surgical."

Hill, who convened a recent hearing on the Public Utility Commission's oversight of PG&E, called on the state agency to do a "root cause" analysis of the electrical shutdowns.

California power outage: What happens when the lights go out

  California power outage: What happens when the lights go out Power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses is expected to go out, affecting millions of people in California, starting early Wednesday. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said a forecast of extreme wind and dry weather has created fire danger of an unprecedented scope, prompting it to initiate the largest preventive outage in state history to reduce the risk of wildfires sparked by faulty power lines. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Here are some questions and answers about the outage.

"This cannot be something that can be acceptable nor long-term," Hill said. "This is Third World, and we are not."

At the Ukiah Senior Center in Mendocino County, executive director Diana Clarke also was concerned.

"People have been on pins and needles all day because of the uncertainty," she said. "They don't know if they should go out and buy supplies, and especially with seniors, they don't have a lot of extra money."

There is a deep sense of frustration and skepticism in the community at the idea of losing power to protect against wildfires.

"PG&E should have been doing the proper maintenance for the last decade," Clarke said. "This wouldn't have been necessary [if they had], and I think that's what has got everyone so angry and frustrated with PG&E right now. This is a crisis of PG&E's making."

Assembly Republican leader Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) said PG&E's announcement is a sign of how far the state has fallen behind in efforts to prevent catastrophic wildfires.

How to survive the PG&E blackout and keep all your devices charged

  How to survive the PG&E blackout and keep all your devices charged If you're in an area scheduled to lose power, you can take some steps before and during the blackout to stretch your battery life.PG&E is cutting the power to avoid a repeat of last year, when its equipment was blamed for starting a fire in the California foothills. The blackouts might spread to Southern California, as Southern California Edison warned it may also be shutting off power due to fire risk.

"This is the frustrating result of decades of forest mismanagement and aging energy infrastructure," Waldron said. "These shutoffs highlight the need to invest in vegetation management, update our energy grid and help Californians harden their homes against wildfires."

PG&E has defended its decision, though, saying it is acting to prevent a repeat of fatal fires.

Nearly all of California's biggest and most deadly wildfires have occurred in the last 20 years, with many of them being sparked by electrical grid failures.

It's that liability that pushed PG&E into bankruptcy this year and has raised concerns that utilities may become more eager to shut off power to avoid potential catastrophe, even when the risk is minimal.

Scores of lawsuits have been filed on behalf of people whose loved ones were killed, whose pets disappeared into the blazing wilderness and who lost everything they owned. They accuse the utility of failing to properly maintain its equipment.

Gov. Gavin Newsom defended PG&E's plans for the intentional power shutdowns.

How to survive the PG&E power shutdown and keep your devices charged

  How to survive the PG&E power shutdown and keep your devices charged If you're in an area scheduled to lose power, you can take some steps before and during the blackout to stretch your battery life.PG&E is cutting the power to avoid a repeat of last year, when its equipment was blamed for starting a fire in the California foothills. The blackouts might spread to Southern California, as Southern California Edison warned it may also be shutting off power due to fire risk.

"The reality is that we want to protect people. We want to make sure people are safe. This is what PG&E thinks is in the best interest of their customers and ultimately for this region and the state," the governor said.

"It is a massive inconvenience," he added. "No one wants to see this happen. But it is a public safety issue."

Even before this week, the power shutoffs generated debate, with some residents saying they create a whole new set of dangers for them as they try to watch for news about potential fires. There is also heightened concern for with health issues who rely on electronic medical equipment to stay alive.

Critics worry that communications and evacuations will be hampered if the power is out, especially if traffic signals don't work and cellphone service is affected.

Once the fire weather subsides, PG&E employees will inspect the grid on-site and electronically before turning the power back on, a company official said.

It took the utility less than a day to restore power to customers during a three-county shutoff last weekend and during another in September, the company said in a statement.

At a news conference Tuesday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf expressed concern over PG&E's timeline to restore power but said she was grateful they had been given time to prepare.

"We expect PG&E to do everything to minimize the impact to residents," Schaaf said. "The idea of five days without electricity is devastating. We fully expect that to be a worst-case scenario."

Will California's planned power outage lead to a boom of 'blackout babies'? Here's what research shows .
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sooner or later, people will get around to asking: Will PG&E's widespread Northern California power shutdown result in a baby boom next year? The phenomenon of "blackout babies" has held fascination for the American public since the Northeast blackout of 1965 when 80 million people lost power for 13 hours. Ever since then, people have claimed that baby booms ensued after that outage, and another one in the 1970s — with a bevy of babies presumably conceived while potential parents were stuck at home in the dark.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!