Pacific Gas & Electric announced it would begin turning off the power to 9,221 customers in northern and eastern Napa County Wednesday evening because of the fire threat posed by predicted high winds.
Strong, gusty winds are forecast overnight in the North Bay hills, easing Thursday before picking up again Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service, which has called a Red Flag warning through Friday morning.
PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff will be much larger than one on Sept. 26 when 216 Napa County customers had their power shut down. This latest PSPS will affect 53,000 PG&E customers in 24 counties, with 17% of them in Napa.
Coombsville, Deer Park, Angwin and Calistoga are among the areas in the shutoff zone. A map of the shutdown area is available at https://bit.ly/34Wx1Vn
“Hot and dry conditions, combined with expected high wind gusts of up to 55 mph, pose an increased risk for damage to the electric system that has the potential to ignite fires in areas with dry vegetation,” the utility said.
The PSPS is expected to end Friday morning, with PG&E saying it should have power restored to most customers within 12 daylight hours. The utility must first inspect the de-energized lines to make sure they were not damaged by the winds.
PG&E will be using temporary microgrids to ease the impact of the shutoffs in Napa County. These microgrids will benefit 1,553 customers in Calistoga, 745 customers in Pope Valley and 48 customers in Angwin, the utility said.
The utility is opening community resource centers where people can charge cellphones, laptops and medical equipment. In Napa County, they will be located indoors at CrossWalk Community Church, 2590 First St., Napa, and outdoors at Pacific Union College, 35 La Jota Drive, in Angwin; Highlands Christian Fellowship, 970 Petrified Forest Road, in Calistoga, and St. Helena Catholic School, 1255 Oak Ave., St. Helena.
They will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday.
The National Weather Service is predicting high temperatures of 97 degrees and 99 degrees on Thursday and Friday, with cooling beginning Saturday.
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.