PG&E Reports 95% of Customers’ Power Restored After Winter Blast
Sonora, CA — PG&E crews continue to assess winter storm damage, while 95 percent of residences and businesses that lost power due to strong winds, heavy rains and deep snow this week have had their power restored.
The outages in Northern and Central California initially impacted nearly 860,000 customers. That number is down to 42,000 as of Friday. Crews continue to focus on the areas where the largest number of customers remain without power, including locations in Tuolumne, Calaveras, Amador, and Mariposa counties.
As earlier reported here, Tuolumne and Calaveras make up nearly 10,000 of those customers still without power. In these locations and elsewhere, PG&E has found more than 1,500 instances of damaged infrastructure where equipment needs to be replaced or repaired, including 365 broken poles and 1,417 spans of wire.
PG&E attributes the lingering outages to crews not being able to access areas due to high snow, falling trees and blocked roads. Utility officials relay where crews can access damaged equipment, they will continue to restore service to customers through the weekend. Helicopters, snowcats and four-wheel drive vehicles are being used to gain access to infrastructure in the hardest-hit areas. More than 450 crews plus another 500 or so troublemen and qualified electrical employees are working on restoration.
PG&E meteorologists have compiled weather data based on the past 30 years and conclude this winter storm is the strongest since 2011, adding that it caused the highest two-day and three-day outage totals since 2010. PG&E has been reaching out to every customer still without power, some with an automated update. As crews complete damage assessments, customers will get updates providing their estimated time of restoration.