PG&E Says Damage and Hazards Found after Safety Shutoff Confirm that Turning Off Power was the Right Decision

PG&E Press Release

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Photo by PG&E

San Francisco, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) released photos of wind-related damage and hazards that were found during inspections following last week’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).

The company is making these findings available on its website at www.pge.com/pspsupdates as the reviews are completed, with more expected in the coming days.

The 100-plus incidents of damage or hazards were spread widely across PG&E’s PSPS footprint. Wind gusts exceeded 50 mph in 16 of the 35 counties in the PSPS footprint, and damage or hazards were found in nearly all of them. It is possible that these damages and hazards represented potential sources of wildfire ignition.

Some examples:

  • In Glenn County, a large tree limb was found lying across an electric line.
  • In Napa County, a large tree limb was found tangled with a span of wires.
  • In Santa Clara County, a very large tree branch fell through lines connected to a house.
  • In Santa Cruz County, a tree fell across the lines.
  • In Shasta County, a large tree fell into the lines pulling a utility pole from its foundation.

PG&E teams continue to review the reports from safety inspections of 25,000 miles of distribution lines and 2,500 miles of transmission lines, a combined distance that’s longer than a trip around the Earth.  As additional information and insights are gathered, the company will make the findings available on its website (www.pge.com/pspsupdates) until the review is complete.

“While we understand and recognize the major disruption this PSPS event imposed on our customers and the general public, these findings suggest that we made the right call, and importantly no catastrophic wildfires were started,” said Michael Lewis, PG&E’s senior vice president of Electric Operations.

About PG&E Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California.

For more information, visit www.pge.com and www.pge.com/news.


5 COMMENTS

    • These trees are on private land. Without permission from owner, these trees can not be trimmed. High winds have carried these branches onto the local road power lines.

  1. Well, it’s time for PG&E to charge the tree owners for lack of maintenance. Gavin, get the checkbook out because the trees in the forests need cleaning and trimming.

  2. The Government owns a lot of land in California where PGE overhead utility lines run through it, and these trees need to be cut back or taken down ASAP! Whether it’s pge, the local cities, counties, or third-party tree trimming companies, trees interfering with the lines need to be cut now. California Environmentalist Tree-Hugging Protesters get the HELL out the way!

  3. “25,000 miles of distribution lines” I expect that there’s a lot of trees in that distance and that it is a constant struggle to keep up.

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