SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As a powerful wind storm concludes its sweep of Northern California, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews continue working around the clock to safely restore service to customers and repair damage to the utility's electrical equipment.
As of 5:00 p.m. today, the utility has restored service to more than 98% of the 344,000 customers who lost power. PG&E has had more than 1,500 people in the field and at various emergency centers throughout its service area to assist in the response effort.
Strong winds, gusting up to 70 miles per hour at higher elevations, caused vegetation and other debris to bring down power lines, damage equipment and interrupt electric service in the northern and central portions of the utility's service area. Approximately 6,100 PG&E customers are still without power, primarily in Santa Cruz County.
With winds diminishing today, PG&E expects to restore service to nearly all customers this evening. Restoration may be delayed in some remote areas due to widespread damage and limited access.
"We thank our customers for their patience during this major wind storm," said Gregg Lemler, Vice President, Electric Transmission Operations. "Since the storm began on Tuesday morning, our crews have worked continuously to restore power safely and as quickly as possible, so customers can celebrate the start of the new year."
For the latest information on power restoration, customers can call PG&E's outage information line at 1-800-743-5002. Updates are also available through a live outage map online at http://www.pge.com/myhome/outages/outage; through PG&E's Twitter feed at http://www.twitter.com/pge4me; and on PG&E's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pacificgasandelectric.
PG&E offers these tips to help customers stay safe during storms:
- Always treat low hanging and downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others away from them. Be aware that trees, pools of water and other objects that may be in contact with power lines. If you see damaged power lines or electrical equipment, call 911 immediately and then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
- During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades, holiday trees and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
- Customers with generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to crews working on power lines.
- If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities 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 nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.
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SOURCE PG&E Corporation