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Gusty Winds Could Force Another PSPS For Mother Lode

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Sonora, CA — The Mother Lode is bracing for another possible Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).

PG&E has notified Tuolumne County officials of a potential shutoff in Zone 8 that includes Tuolumne, Calaveras, Alpine, Amador, and Mariposa. Currently, it is a PSPS “Watch,” which is due to a combination of adverse weather and dry fuel conditions and is expected to arrive Monday through Wednesday, as shown on the chart below.

PGE 7 Day PSPS Potential map 1-16-21
PGE 7 Day PSPS Potential map 1-16-21


There is a High Wind Watch for the Sierra Foothills issued by the National Weather Service, as earlier reported here yesterday (Friday, Jan. 15).

In an email to the county, the utility detailed that the main impact will be an unusually prolonged period of breezy to gusty north to northeast winds Sunday night into Tuesday. The email states, “As it relates to PSPS, the mitigating factor in this scenario is that the winter season grass crop has emerged in many areas. However, locations across the far south where the grass crop has not yet emerged significantly will need to be monitored and studied closely.”

The possible electricity shut-off for Tuolumne County being considered is on Monday, January 18 between 4 and 8 a.m. with the lights coming back on Wednesday, January 20th at 8 p.m. and Midnight.

County officials say the tentative areas impacted would be along the Highway 108 corridor, beginning east from Sunshine Camp and heading up the highway. The communities impacted are Tuolumne Rancheria, Ponderosa, Mona Vista, Twain Harte, Cedar Ridge, Long Barn, Pinecrest, and Dodge Ridge.

Currently, no future PSPS outage map has been posted by PG&E. Updates will be provided as soon as new information comes into the newsroom.