The 11,181 Napa County customers scheduled to have their power turned off on Wednesday morning due to strong winds may have enough time to brew a pot of coffee and have an early breakfast before their homes go dark.
Pacific Gas and Electric intends to begin line shutoffs at 7 a.m. Wednesday, not 4 a.m. as previously announced, Napa County said Tuesday afternoon. It may take about three hours to complete the shutoffs, the county said in a news release. Napa County homes and businesses are facing the fifth power shutoff in six weeks as PG&E reacts to forecasts for gusty dry winds — conditions that the National Weather Service calls “critical fire weather conditions.”
Wednesday’s shutoffs are scheduled to affect 181,000 customers in 16 counties. The planned 11,181 shutoffs in Napa County are fewer than the two shutoffs at the end of October.
The power could start coming back on during the day Thursday as crews inspect lines for wind damage, PG&E said. Line inspection could start as early as 8 a.m.
Napa County areas affected by this safety shutoff include areas surrounding Napa as well as Angwin, Calistoga, St. Helena, Deer Park, Lake Berryessa, Oakville, Pope Valley, Rutherford and Yountville. American Canyon is not expected to lose power.
Most Napa County schools are planning to be open during the shutoffs. Pope Valley Elementary may run on generator power, and Howell Mountain Elementary in Angwin may close if the site has no power. Calistoga schools will possibly be open; a final decision had not been made as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
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Cal Fire’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit asked residents to be vigilant for the potential of wildfires during the strong winds. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for the North Bay from Tuesday night into Thursday for strong winds, low humidity and low fuel moisture.
“Some of the most destructive fires in California occur from October through December,” said Cal Fire Unit Chief Shana Jones. “Wind-driven fires move fast, and residents need to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice in the event of a wildfire.”
PG&E will open Community Resource Centers in Calistoga at the Mount Saint Helena Golf Course parking lot, 2025 Grant St, and in St. Helena at the St. Helena Catholic School, 1255 Oak Ave. Both centers will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. starting Wednesday.
Napa County has arranged for four charging centers in the following locations:
—Lake Berryessa Senior Center, 4380 Spanish Flat Loop Road, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
—Napa County Library, 580 Coombs St, Napa, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.;
—Yountville Library, 6516 Washington St., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and, in an adjacent facility, the Yountville Community Center, 6516 Washington St., 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.