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Weekend Public Safety Power Shutoff Probable

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Sonora, CA — With a power shutdown still underway in Calaveras, local OES officials are warning residents in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties of another one.

As Clarke Broadcasting reported here yesterday and Tuolumne County OES Coordinator Liz Peterson confirms today, PG&E and the National Weather Service are tracking a severe weather event with significant winds that may begin at around 10 p.m. Saturday and potentially last through Monday afternoon.

“While PG&E has not yet confirmed they will be de-energizing their lines, they will be sending out notifications later this afternoon to their customers in the affected counties to be prepared for a potential PSPS event,” Peterson shares. It is anticipated that Tuolumne County would be one of 32 counties affected by this event with about 640,000 customers being de-energized statewide.

“Though the footprint of this event is similar to what we experienced a few weeks ago, the winds are anticipated to be more severe, which means there is potential PG&E could experience more damage to their infrastructure,” Peterson warns.

“With more significant damage, restoration — after the weather event is over and PG&E gives the ‘all clear’ — could take longer than it did with the PSPS event we had a few weeks ago. As was the case previously, all residents should be prepared to be without power for up to five days,” she adds.

If power is de-energized in Tuolumne County, PG&E will again open Community Resource Centers. The CRCs will have expanded services, including wifi, non-perishable snacks, water and coffee, additional charging capabilities for medical devices, customer giveaways such as batteries for flashlights and portable cell phone charges.

Calaveras County OES officials indicate they are hearing at this point that power could go off in Calaveras County late Saturday or early Sunday morning.

OES officials with both counties say the exact areas affected and CRC locations are still to be determined. It is possible, depending on the weather that “all clear” for PG&E to check powerlines ahead of re-energizing them might not come until midday Monday.

For preparation tips and more view our Power Outage Page here.

Tracey Petersen is also contributing to this story.