Update: Power Outage In Tuolumne County
Update at 11:08 a.m.: PG&E reports all power has been restored to the more than 3,000 PG&E customers in Tuolumne County that have been without electricity since early this morning. The outage stretched from Lime Kiln Road in the Jamestown area to past Big Oak Flat Road east of Groveland and on both sides of Highway 120. The power went out for 3,071 customers shortly before 6 a.m.
The company listed the cause for about 89 customers as weather-related but gave no exact cause. Clarke Broadcasting reached out to PG&E spokesperson Megan McFarland regarding the cause. She detailed, “The cause of this outage was part of PG&E’s Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings (EPSS) program. These settings allow our powerlines to automatically turn off power within one-tenth of a second. This can occur when there is a hazard, like a tree branch falling into a line. We began implementing EPSS in July 2021.” McFarland added that last year, the utility saw an 80% reduction in ignitions on EPSS-enabled circuits in High Fire-Threat Districts (HFTDs), compared to the last three-year average.
The picture in the image box shows a helicopter in the Jamestown area checking out the power lines in the outage area just before 9 a.m. McFarland confirmed that it was one of their hired aircraft, stating, “PG&E was patrolling the line in Yosemite Division to ensure that there were no hazards, and since it’s an EPSS outage, they needed to patrol the entire line before they could reactivate it.” She noted that those crews can sometimes determine the cause of an outage while patrolling the circuit, but sometimes they are ruled as undetermined due to the EPSS cutting off power.
“Sometimes we get questions about the weather being calm in one area and customers asking why the power is out,” shared McFarland. “It’s important for customers to remember that our lines can extend for miles and miles, so even if the weather is clear in one area, it can be more hectic farther down the line. This often comes up during PSPS outages.“
Update at 8:55 a.m.: PG&E is reporting that weather is the cause of 89 of the over 3,000 customers still without power this morning, but they did not specify what those conditions were. In all, 3,071 customers’ electricity went out just before 6 a.m., stretching from Lime Kiln Road in the Jamestown area to past Big Oak Flat Road east of Groveland and on both sides of Highway 120. The utility reports that no cause has been determined for the rest of the customers. They added that crews are working to restore electricity. The company has not yet posted an estimated restoration time.
Original post at 6:53 p.m.: Tuolumne County, CA — More than 3,000 PG&E customers are waking up to no power this morning.
Those impacted stretch from Lime Kiln Road in the Jamestown area to past Big Oak Flat Road east of Groveland and on both sides of Highway 120. A total of 3,071 customers have been without power since just before 6 a.m. The utility reports that crews are investigating the cause and working to restore electricity. The company has not yet posted an estimated restoration time.