Three more counties were added early Tuesday to the list of those with residents and businesses who will be potentially impacted by a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) set to begin early Wednesday.
Parts of Alameda and Contra Costa counties appeared on a potential shutoff map midday Monday, and early this morning PG&E issued another press release that brings the count of impacted counties up to 25, and the number of potentially impacted Californians to around 1 million (or approximately 303,000 power customers). Parts of San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties were added to the map, and the utility said it was informing those potentially impacted on Tuesday afternoon.
In Santa Clara County the impacted areas will include parts of Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, and Redwood Estates; in San Mateo County they include Pescadero and unincorporated parts of the county; and in Santa Cruz County they include parts of Santa Cruz, Capitola, Aptos, Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Brookdale, Davenport, Felton, Mount Hermon, Scotts Valley, Soquel, and Watsonville.
If you still don't know whether your home or business will be affected in the Wednesday PSPS event, you can fill in your address here to find out.
In Sacramento on Tuesday, lawmakers berated PG&E executives over the PSPS events in October, mostly arguing that while public safety is paramount, the utility failed the public both in providing information and providing necessary services.
"I looked at what happened on October 9 as a big ‘screw you’ to your customers, to the Legislature, to the governor," said state Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) to PG&E CEO Bill Johnson during Monday's oversight hearing. As the Chronicle reports, Dodd was one of multiple state lawmakers who "lashed out" at Johnson over the handling of the power shutoffs.
State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) put it thusly: "We thought that PG&E would use a scalpel in implementing these planned blackouts. Instead PG&E has chosen to use a sledgehammer and then turn around and essentially tell the public, ‘Sorry, suck it up, we’ll fix it in 10 years.’"
Johnson sought to allay concerns that it will be 10 years — as previously announced — before enough of PG&E's power lines have been modernized to make these PSPS events unnecessary. Johnson said at the hearing "We do not expect an annual repeat of what we went through this October," and he said that he believed they could reduce the scope of such shutoff by "as much as a third" by next fall, following some infrastructure improvements.