SANTA ROSA, CA – The County of Sonoma is preparing to respond to the impacts of a possible power shut off conducted by PG&E. The agency informed County officials that Sonoma County is under a “Public Safety Shut off Watch,” and current weather conditions may lead to a de-energization event within the next 12 hours.
PG&E estimates that 33,000 customers in Sonoma County could lose power. The areas anticipated to be affected by the potential shutdowns extend throughout most of the County, including the City of Santa Rosa, north of Santa Rosa, and east, including Sonoma Valley. Residents in those areas should prepare for the possibility of losing power this evening, September 23, at about 8:00 P.M. PG&E expects to start restoring power on Tuesday, September 24, at about 6:00 A.M. A second power shut off event may begin on Tuesday, September 24, about 8 P.M. with re-energization beginning on Wednesday, September 25 at about 6 A.M. It may take 24 to 48 hours to complete power restoration.
The County of Sonoma is declaring a State of Emergency in an abundance of caution to ensure we are able to prepare our own internal operation and respond to this event to the best of abilities. “Our staff has been diligently planning to adequately respond to the effects of this event,” said Board of Supervisors Chair David Rabbitt. “However, we want to remind our residents that the decision to turn off the power and the speed at which it is restored is planned and managed solely by PG&E.”
The County’s Emergency Operation Center was activated at 9 A.M. this morning. The County of Sonoma Department of Emergency Management is taking steps in preparation for a potential power loss following the first of its kind “De-energization Response Plan,” which describes potential challenges and provides a coordinating response framework.
“The ramifications of these kind of events are extensive; prolonged power outages could impact public safety systems, including emergency alerts,” said Chris Godley, Emergency Manager. “Residents should be aware of their surroundings as the weather forecast does include an elevated fire danger.”
PG&E will provide updates to customers and the County of Sonoma when information is available. Customers can update their contact information to receive notifications sent by PG&E online(https://m.pge.com/#login) or by phone, in English at 1-866-743-6589and in Spanish at 1-866-743-6589. Residents can also check if their home is in an area where power may be shut off on PG&E’s website.
To find more information about preparing for power outages visit www.SoCoEmergency.org. Sign up for County emergency alerts on SoCoAlert.org.