Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) utility company, announced it will cut off power for a duration of several days.
After the weather forecasts predicted high winds and warning of extreme fire danger, the utility company Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), decided to turn off power to 34 counties in northern and central California after midnight Wednesday.
This attempt which will affect more than 800,000 customers, is to avoid the risk of fallen power lines from igniting the kind of wildfires which have withered large area land in previous years.
Last year, 150,000 acres of land of Paradise town were destroyed in this huge “Camp Fire” killing 86 people. An investigation reported that the blaze, the deadliest in California’s history, ignited due to the poorly maintained PG&E equipment.
According to Michael Lewis, senior vice-president of PG&E’s electric operations, it may take several days to fully restore power.
While some locals are taking necessary precautions for the blackout by rushing to the closest shop other residents expressed their frustrations on PG&E’s social media channel.
“None of us are happy about it, but this is part of something that we knew was likely to occur several months ago, when PG&E finally woke up to their responsibility to keep people safe.” expressed California governor, Gavin Newsom.
As from Wednesday, 28 Community Resource Centers will be opened to offer “restrooms, bottled water and electronic-device charging”.
Several schools in the region requested students to stay at home on Wednesday and wait for further information.
Local meteorologist Mike Pechner told CBS news, “It’s not an overreaction at all. As the wind comes in, the wires, of course, oscillate back and forth. If they touch, they start a fire.
“[Cutting power] is taking downed wires and high winds out of the fire equation.”