ARTICLE / LINKS. Why was PG&E out for so long on March 12th, 2019?
When Red Flag warnings (initiated by the National Weather Service) and wires go down, PG&E is now mandated, in certain events, like high winds, to shut down the grid, aka the transmission lines.
After such a shut down, PG&E must do a 100% visual inspection of all lines before they can turn on the power again.
Imagine all of the PG&E lines that go through all of Pescadero and the farms on the coast. 96 hours, maybe even a week, with no electricity to complete the visual inspection.
PGE is going to work on isolating and creating smaller grids, but that is for the future.
Directly from the PGE website…
“Restoration of Power
After the extreme weather has passed and it is safe to do so, our crews
will work to visually inspect each mile of our power lines to ensure
they are free from damage and safe to energize. Inspections will take
place during daylight hours.
We will make every effort to restore power within 24 hours. However, depending on conditions or if any repairs are needed, outages could last between 2 to 5 days:
For planning purposes, we suggest customers prepare for MULTIPLE DAY OUTAGE.
No single factor drives a Public Safety Power Shutoff, as each situation is unique. PG&E carefully reviews a combination of many criteria when determining if power should be turned off for safety. These factors generally include, but are not limited to:
- A Red Flag Warning declared by the National Weather Service
- Low humidity levels, generally 20 percent and below
- Forecasted sustained winds generally above 25 mph and wind gusts in excess of approximately 45 mph, depending on location and site-specific conditions such as temperature, terrain and local climate
- Condition of dry fuel on the ground and live vegetation (moisture content)
- On-the-ground, real-time observations from PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Operations Center and observations from PG&E field crews
Importantly, while we monitor and take into consideration Red Flag Warnings issued from the National Weather Service, the issuance of a Red Flag Warning does not automatically trigger a Public Safety Power Shutoff.”