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janbb's avatar

Can northern Californians keep us updated as to power outages and how they are?

Asked by janbb (55103points) 1 week ago

California power company is cutting power to much of the Bay Area for up to 5 days because high winds may cause fires. It’s a scary scenatio.

Please let us know how you are.

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34 Answers

Caravanfan's avatar

According to the map, my house won’t be affected. But the edge is really close.

Demosthenes's avatar

Five days is insane. I get that PG&E feels they have no option; their equipment has caused the deadliest fires in California’s history and people sue them when these fires hit, so they’re covering their ass.

Looks like power will likely be shut off in Portola Valley and Woodside. My parents are in Atherton (and me, since I’m here for a few days). Most likely nothing will be shut off here since the flat areas nearer the Bay are not the risk zones.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Demosthenes That’s exactly my feeling as well. They’re dong it as a CYA.

janbb's avatar

@Caravanfan It will affect the hospitals, won’t it?

zenvelo's avatar

@janbb Hospitals have their own emergency generators.

I was expecting to wake up with the power off, it was supposed to go out at midnight. But everything was on, and today they say to expect it off in the East Bay Hills at noon. Power is out in parts of Marin, Napa, and Sonoma counties.

The biggest unknown is whether the tunnels to where I live will remain open or be shut down. That could really mess up the commute.

raum's avatar

The area I’m in isn’t supposed to be affected. But PG&E site is down for most up-to-date information. The biggest concern is probably Caldecott Tunnel closure that @zenvelo mentioned.

jca2's avatar

@zenvelo: And then would you take a train to work? Because they need power, too, yes?

zenvelo's avatar

@jca2 I take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to work. But BART should not be affected, as it has its own power infrastructure that is separate from PG&E.

raum's avatar

Yesterday I saw a BART train plow straight through a black billowing cloud of smoke and fire. (Fire in one of the Oakland homeless encampments.)

Caravanfan's avatar

@janbb It’s not affecting our hospital. I am assuming that others are not affected as well. Hospitals have their own generation systems anyway.

zenvelo's avatar

It’s just after 6 pm and our power is still on, but we’ve been warned that it might go off at 8 p.m. Depends on if the winds pick up at sunset.

It is very odd in town, people getting food before dark quite a few small businesses, like my dry cleaner, did not open today. Traffic was lighter than usual, because people don’t want to get stuck somewhere or use up gas. Gas stations have been very busy because the pumps won’t work when things go dark.

Caravanfan's avatar

@zenvelo Which town do you live in? I’m in Pleasant Hill. Some of Pleasant Hill is affected, but my area isn’t at risk. For some bizarre reason Lafayette and Walnut Creek are slated for being affected. My house is a greater risk of wildfires than theirs as I’m close to open space.

zenvelo's avatar

@Caravanfan I am in downtown Lafayette.

Caravanfan's avatar

@zenvelo I’m about 20 minutes from you. If you come to Bonehead Texas BBQ Sunday November 3rd, there should be a bluegrass jam there. If there is, I’ll be one of the guys playing banjo. And if you’re really curious, this Sunday at about 4:30 my band is playing at Ocean View Brew Works in Albany

Demosthenes's avatar

Wow, so many locals here. I was in Walnut Creek last week, visiting my grandparents. :D

raum's avatar

@Caravanfan plays a banjo in a bluegrass band in Pleasant Hill? Tripping me out.

I also heard that several schools in Oakland are closing for a few days.

Caravanfan's avatar

@raum I wouldn’t get too tripped out. We’re not that great of a band.

raum's avatar

LOL

Paging, Dr. @Caravanfan for the banjo. Paging, Dr. @Caravanfan.

zenvelo's avatar

@Caravanfan I’ll put the third on my calendar!

Eight o’clock has passed, and the lights are still on.

Caravanfan's avatar

@raum A friend of mine I work with play the banjo. One day another friend of ours was in the hospital, so he brought his bagpipe and I played the banjo. We played a duet. When we finished we asked if he wanted to hear another. He said, “No, thank you.”

zenvelo's avatar

FYI, @filmfan has been without power up in the Sierra foothills since midnight last night. And the house next door to him had a fire this evening, because a girl lit a candle and then went for a walk, leaving it unattended. Moderate damage, FD put it out.

janbb's avatar

I’ve met sevaral of you NoCal folks during my trips to the Bay Area. Maybe next time we can have at meet up at one of Patch Adams’s gigs.

rebbel's avatar

What exactly is the problem there?
So there’s wind (forecast) and they shut off power, because (possible) fires can emerge?
Is this a logical precaution, or a little farfetched one?
Asking for myself?

janbb's avatar

@rebbel Well, they went bankrupt because their lines caused several large fatal wildfires. But instead of upgrading their systems, they are doing the blackouts as a preventive measure. Droughts and high winds can cause fast spreading fires and there have been many in recent years but extensive power outages are a lousy solution.

rebbel's avatar

Gotcha, @janbb.
So if I understand it right, the fires can happen anyway, no matter if they power off the lines?
I really can’t see the correlation between the two.

zenvelo's avatar

@rebbel Many of the very large fires in recent years have been caused by downed power lines over undeveloped open space.

Power in Lafayette went out at 10:54 last night, this morning walking to the train in the darkness with just my headlamp was eerie. The BART station (on a different power grid) was an island of light in a vast sea of darkness.

Large fire in Moraga overnight, 60+ acres, 140 houses evacuated.

rebbel's avatar

Aha, I see.
I was a bit slow on the take, but now I understand it.
(Still, seems a bit drastic to off the power for hours/days…)

Caravanfan's avatar

@zenvelo I hadn’t heard about the Moraga fire. Your power went out the same time as my buddy in Walnut Creek. (BTW, I forgot to tell you the bluegrass jam at Bonehead starts at 5)

Tropical_Willie's avatar

This is the impact almost 240 sq. miles that is about 15 miles by 15 miles or 24 kilometers by 24 kilometers burnt. It destroyed 18,804 structures. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Fire_(2018)

zenvelo's avatar

Power still out in Lafayette, and it is pretty breezy down in the valley. It is like an odd holiday, shops closed, little traffic.

jca2's avatar

Yeah I’m thinking stores are losing business. Government and other offices can’t operate without lights and computers.

zenvelo's avatar

The power was restored here just after five o’clock, so the frozen food didn’t thaw and the milk is still good.

Caravanfan's avatar

@zenvelo The fire in Moraga is 95% contained.

Demosthenes's avatar

Right now the major problems seem to be in SoCal. The Saddleridge Fire has already destroyed a number of homes in the Sylmar area of L.A.

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