AP NEWS

The Latest: PG&E to cut power to 375,000 people

November 20, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on Pacific Gas & Electric planned power outages (all times local):

7 p.m.

Pacific Gas & Electric says it will begin shutting off the power to about 375,000 people in 18 Northern and Central California counties on Wednesday to avoid the risk of its equipment sparking catastrophic wildfires.

The utility announced Tuesday evening that it reduced the footprint of the planned blackouts despite projected dry, windy red-flag conditions of extreme fire danger in the northern San Francisco Bay Area, California’s wine country and the Sierra foothills.

PG&E says it expects to get the all-clear Thursday morning to start restoring electricity.

The country’s largest utility has hit California with a series of massive outages, including one last month for nearly 2.5 million people that outraged local officials and customers.

PG&E officials say they’re aware of the disruption but outages are a public safety matter.

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2:53 p.m.

Pacific Gas & Electric says it has decreased the number of people who could be affected by possible power outages starting Wednesday from 660,000 to about 450,000 because of changes in the weather.

PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian says the utility has been able to decrease the scope of the outages because of a shift in the weather. She says the utility will announce later Tuesday what areas will be affected.

The utility plans to turn off electricity to prevent its power lines from sparking a wildfire amid warm weather and strong winds expected through Thursday.

The planned blackout would be the latest in a series of massive outages by the country’s largest utility, including one last month that affected nearly 2.5 million people and outraged local officials and customers.