SDG&E Urges Backcountry Residents to Prepare for Public Safety Power Shutoffs
- Sep 9, 2020 10:45 am GMT
Due to elevated fire weather conditions and forecasted Santa Ana winds, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has notified backcountry residents that it may have to turn off power to reduce wildfire risk in the coming days. Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) are approved by state regulators as an important safety tool of last resort to mitigate fire risk during dangerous weather conditions.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning from 12 p.m. today through 8 p.m. Wednesday for inland Orange County and San Diego County valleys and mountains. Moderate strength Santa Ana winds are expected to arrive today, peak Wednesday in strength, and become weak to moderate through Thursday. In preparation, SDG&E has activated its Emergency Operations Center to monitor conditions 24/7 and has organized personnel and pre-staged materials and equipment for response.
Yesterday, SDG&E sent PSPS notifications to approximately 16,700 customers at risk of Public Safety Power Shutoffs via phone, text messages and email. Customers who were notified should be prepared to be without power through Thursday, depending on SDG&E’s need and ability to physically inspect equipment during daylight hours prior to re-energizing. The company also advised those who have received PSPS notification to be prepared to activate their personal emergency plans to keep their family, pets and livestock safe. SDG&E will continue to provide customers with updates when there is more information about forecasted weather conditions.
SDG&E has been a leader in wildfire safety innovations for more than a decade. Since 2007, it has invested more than $2 billion in system hardening, situational awareness, and customer outreach and communications programs to help prevent catastrophic wildfires. Using sophisticated weather, fire and vegetation monitoring tools, as well as supercomputers to run fire simulations and predictive analytics, SDG&E can pinpoint which circuits or segments of power lines are most at risk. A list of areas at risk of PSPS is available at sdge.com/ready. A network of more than 230 weather stations located throughout SDG&E’s service territory provides grid operators with real-time data on wind, temperature and humidity conditions and help them decide when and whether to de-energize power lines to maintain safety.
To ensure customers are not surprised when the weather changes and becomes dangerous quickly, SDG&E recently released a new PSPS app, which is available on The App Store and Google Play or https://www.sdge.com/alerts-sdge
To learn more about SDG&E's extensive wildfire safety efforts, visit sdge.com/wildfiresafety.
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