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Power shut off to millions in California as wildfire risks rise

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor October 10, 2019 13:44

Power shut off to millions in California as wildfire risks rise

Electricity was shut off to more than 500,000 California homes and businesses as Pacific Gas and Electric Co imposed a planned power outage of unprecedented scale to reduce wildfire risks posed by high winds and hot, dry weather. A second phase of the “public safety power shutoff” was slated to begin at midday, extending cutoffs to another 234,000 customers, the utility said, and it was considering a third phase for 42,000 more homes and businesses.The outages were planned for communities across 34 of the state’s 58 counties, all in PG&E’s service area in northern and central California.In the city of Vacaville, north-east of San Francisco, drivers were struggling to get through busy junctions with no working traffic lights. Also, many stores, including Wallmart and Starbucks, remained closed.Sustained gale-force winds were forecast to linger through midday Thursday, with isolated gusts of up to 70 miles per hour, the utility said in announcing the shutdown. Once power is turned off, it cannot be restored until winds subside, allowing PG&E to inspect equipment for damage and make repairs, the company said.

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor October 10, 2019 13:44