On second day of power shutoff, PG&E starts days-long process of inspecting lines, restoring electricity

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North Bay customers involved in the shutoff

Lake: 37,439

Communities affected: Clearlake, Lakeport, Clearlake Oaks, Lucerne, Nice, Upper Lake, Lower Lake, Middletown, Kelseyville, Cobb, Hidden Valley Lake, Glenhaven, Witter Springs, Clearlake Park, Loch Lomond, Kelseyville and Finley

Marin: 9,855

Communities affected: Bolinas, Fairfax, Mill Valley, Muir Beach, Olema, Sausalito and Stinson Beach

Mendocino: 6,476

Communities affected: Ukiah, Potter Valley, Hopland, Redwood Valley, Boonville, Calpella, Talmage, Garberville, Leggett, Cloverdale, Piercy and Westport

Napa: 32,124

Communities affected: Napa, Saint Helena, Calistoga, Angwin, Pope Valley, Rutherford, Oakville, Deer Park, Lake Berryessa, Yountville and American Canyon

Solano: 32,863

Communities affected: Fairfield, Vacaville, Suisun City, Vallejo and Dixon

Sonoma: 66,289

Communities affected: Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Petaluma, Healdsburg, Cloverdale, Glen Ellen, Penngrove, Geyserville, Kenwood, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Annapolis, Stewarts Point, Cotati, Cazadero, Guerneville, Larkfield, El Verano, Boyes Hot Springs, Fulton and Bodega Bay

Source: PG&E

As Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s fire-safety power shutoff expanded to more Bay Area counties and entered a second day, the utility on Thursday morning said it began restoring power to some of the 726,000 Northern and Central California customers in the outage, but such work in the Bay Area awaits a change in the weather.

Winds had died down enough in Humboldt County for crews on Thursday morning to start inspecting equipment and begin turning back on the power, after the first wave of outages started early Wednesday, the utility announced. Electricity had been restored to 126,000 customers as of 6 a.m., the utility announced. But as of 10 a.m., an "all clear" had not been issued to start restoration for about 600,000 customers, including those in the Bay Area.

But restoration of power is expected to pick up momentum Thursday afternoon and continue for several days, Deanna Contreras, North Bay spokeswoman for the utility, told The Press Democrat.

Dangerous weather conditions were expected to continue in parts of the Sierra Foothills and Bay Area until midday Thursday. Similar conditions were beginning in Kern County late morning Thursday and forecast to continue through mid-Friday, leading to a shutoff for 4,000 customers there on Thursday.

“We faced a choice between hardship or safety, and we chose safety. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and the hardship, but we stand by the decision because the safety of our customers and communities must come first,” said Michael Lewis, senior vice president of electric operations, said in the Thursday morning update.

In the early morning hours Thursday, peak wind gusts were recorded on the highest mountaintops of the Bay Area, the utility said. Forecasts of high winds and low humidity were key factors in taking the unprecedented step of such an extensive public safety power shutoff. Spurts of wind up to 77 mph were measured on Mt. St. Helena in Sonoma County and as high as 75 mph on Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County, both areas in the first wave of planned outages.

The utility said it received a number of reports of vegetation-related damage to its equipment in those areas. It has 45 helicopters and over 6,300 field personnel ready to start daytime inspections on nearly 2,500 miles of high-power transmission lines and 25,000 miles of distribution lines in the shutoff areas.

At midnight on Wednesday, power was shut off to parts of 22 Northern California counties, including all six in the North Bay and several in the Sierra Foothills. By that evening, the shutoff was expanded to areas of 10 more counties in the East Bay, South Bay and Central Coast.

North Bay customers involved in the shutoff

Lake: 37,439

Communities affected: Clearlake, Lakeport, Clearlake Oaks, Lucerne, Nice, Upper Lake, Lower Lake, Middletown, Kelseyville, Cobb, Hidden Valley Lake, Glenhaven, Witter Springs, Clearlake Park, Loch Lomond, Kelseyville and Finley

Marin: 9,855

Communities affected: Bolinas, Fairfax, Mill Valley, Muir Beach, Olema, Sausalito and Stinson Beach

Mendocino: 6,476

Communities affected: Ukiah, Potter Valley, Hopland, Redwood Valley, Boonville, Calpella, Talmage, Garberville, Leggett, Cloverdale, Piercy and Westport

Napa: 32,124

Communities affected: Napa, Saint Helena, Calistoga, Angwin, Pope Valley, Rutherford, Oakville, Deer Park, Lake Berryessa, Yountville and American Canyon

Solano: 32,863

Communities affected: Fairfield, Vacaville, Suisun City, Vallejo and Dixon

Sonoma: 66,289

Communities affected: Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Petaluma, Healdsburg, Cloverdale, Glen Ellen, Penngrove, Geyserville, Kenwood, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Annapolis, Stewarts Point, Cotati, Cazadero, Guerneville, Larkfield, El Verano, Boyes Hot Springs, Fulton and Bodega Bay

Source: PG&E

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