Napa County residents prepare for possible power shutoffs as fire danger remains high

PG&E Power Shutoffs

NAPA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – The high fire danger in the North Bay this week has people getting prepared for the possible power shutoffs.

People in wine country have already been dealing with high heat and bad air quality and now there’s the concern of power shutoffs.

The biggest factor Monday night through Wednesday morning will be the wind.

Areas across wine country are preparing for high hot wind and the potential for no power, PG&E is planning to de-energize electrical lines to minimize the risk of fire danger.

“We’re pretty prepared. We’ve been through this multiple times. You never like when it happens,” Mayor Chris Canning said. 

Calistoga Mayor Chris Canning’s small city is at risk of losing electricity along with thousands of others in Napa County but Calistoga also has a back-up.

As one of the first cities to experience a Public Safety Power Shutoff, PG&E recently installed this planned interconnection hub to help get 2/3’s of the city up and running incase of a shutoff.

“Grocery stores, pharmacies etc police fire everything that we need to take care of everyone else and those folks who do live in the un-powered areas or unenergized areas we will have some cooling centers for them to move over to,” Canning said.

The National Weather Service has warned about high wind gusts over the next few days the hills have become a big concern.

For residents, the threat of fire is all too familiar but the earlier threat and the potential for losing power has become alarming.

“It’s a terrible thing. I mean we’re left in this heat and we don’t have air conditioning or food is going to waste,” one resident said.

“Until we have a fully resilient power network this is what they need to do and we’ve all experienced in this community first hand what happens when you have a powerline go down during a high wind event and we don’t want that,” Canning said.

The mayor says the hub takes a few hours to power everything up which is better than having to go without electricity for several days.

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