Hundreds of thousands of California residents brace for another planned blackout as high winds persist

first_imgiStock(SAN FRANCISCO) — Mass blackouts will be affecting hundreds of thousands of California residents in an effort to prevent wildfires amid a forecast of hot and windy weather.The forecast poses a higher risk for damage and sparks on the electrical grid, which could contribute to “rapid wildfire spread,” Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said in a statement.About 179,000 customers in 17 counties in Northern California will be affected by the public safety power shutoff, or PSPS. The shutoffs will happen in waves in different counties, beginning at 3 p.m. local time.The peak high-winds period should end around noon Thursday in the Sierra Foothills, North Bay and San Mateo County and by noon Friday in Kern County, according to PG&E.After the high winds subside, technicians will inspect the de-energized lines to ensure they weren’t damaged and restore power as quickly as possible. The “vast majority” of customers should have electricity within 48 hours after the weather passes, according to PG&E.Southern California Edison also announced Wednesday afternoon that more than 308,000 customers could have their power cut, and San Diego Gas & Electric may cut power to 23,944 customers.PG&E began warning customers on Monday about the possibility of the second deliberate blackout this month.The heavy wind gusts during the last PSPS, which affected more than 2 million people, caused more than 100 instances of serious damage and hazard on PG&E’s distribution and transmission lines.In Southern California, the deadly Saddleridge Fire ignited on Oct. 10 near an electrical transmission line operated by Southern California Edison. The company had shut down some of its power lines, but not the one running through Sylmar in Los Angeles County.“The sole purpose of PSPS is to significantly reduce catastrophic wildfire risk to our customers and communities,” PG&E officials said in a statement on Monday. “We know that sustained winds above 45 mph are known to cause damage to the lower-voltage distribution system and winds above 50 mph are known to cause damage to higher-voltage transmission equipment.”The announcement of the most recent blackout drew anger from community members who criticized the power company for not working to find alternative solutions sooner.PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian told ABC San Francisco station KGO-AM that it’s installing devices to divide the grid into smaller segments so blackouts are targeted in smaller areas.The company aims to end PSPS events within the next 10 years, PG&E President and CEO Bill Johnson said before the California Public Utilities Commission on Friday.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Gregan qualifies for 400m semi final at World Championships

first_imgMark English failed to qualify for the 800m semi-finals at the World Championships after finishing fifth in his heat.In the evening session Usain Bolt competes in the 100 metres for the final time of his career.He’s in the semi-finals just after 7pm with the final scheduled for 9.45.One of Usain Bolt’s biggest rivals for tonight’s 100-metres title at the World Athletics Championships says he doesn’t mind being booed by the London crowd.America’s 2004 Olympic gold medallist Justin Gatlin’s twice been banned for doping.He maintains both cases were accidental.And he’s not fussed about the reception he’s getting at the Olympic Stadium. Photo © Pixabay Brian Gregan has produced a brilliant run to qualify for the semi-finals of the 400 metres at the World Athletics Championships.A late charge saw the Dubliner finish his heat in 3rd place with a run that was just a tenth of a second off his personal best.His semi-final takes place at 5.40pm tomorrow.last_img read more