PG&E shutting off power to approximately 1,781 customers in Sonoma County

On top of an existing Red Flag Warning, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a heat advisory for 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16. The Red Flag Warning will be in effect from 5 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14 to 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 16.

In response to the weather conditions, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has warned of a public safety power shutoff (PSPS) occurring in pieces of 24 California counties, halting power to potentially 54,000 customers. In Sonoma County, approximately 1,781 people are expected to be impacted by a power shutoff. According to PG&E’s predicted outage map, the eastern hills of Sonoma County will be impacted.

PG&E customers can look up their address online to find out if their location is being monitored for the potential safety shutoff at www.pge.com/pspsupdates. In response to the PSPS, PG&E has established four community resource centers in the county.

Temperatures in the area are expected to hit 15 to 25 degrees above average, with afternoon highs in the upper 80s and low 100s. The NWS is warning people to not leave people or pets in cars, limit outdoor activities, stay in air conditioned areas, drink fluids and watch for hot pavement when walking with pets. A heat advisory brings with it an increased risk for heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

While the county of Sonoma usually designates cooling centers during periods of increased temperatures, none have been announced yet.

Mountains and ridges are predicted to have north and northeast winds at between 15 and 30 miles per hour, with gusts at 35 to 45 miles per hour and maximum gusts at 55 miles per hour. Valleys are predicted to have north and northeast winds at 10 to 20 miles per hour, with gusts around 30 miles per hour.

Day time humidity in the area is expected to drop to 10% to 20% with little nighttime recovery.

Dry conditions in the area will make it easier for fires to start, and winds can pave the way for more rapid fire spread.

According to NWS, gustier winds are predicted to develop in the hills Wednesday evening and peak overnight and into Thursday morning. Winds will likely increase Thursday evening, though not as strong.

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