Why are blackouts pushed back by PG&E?

PG&E Power Shutoffs

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – A second wave of massive blackouts has been pushed back to later this evening by PG&E in four Bay Area Counties.

Emergency officials in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties are saying they expect outages now starting at 8 p.m on Wednesday through noon on Thursday.

Santa Clara County declared a state of emergency Wednesday afternoon ahead of the expected shut offs.

Those outages were originally to start at noon Wednesday. So far the wind has not picked up.

KRON4 News has repeatedly reached out to PG&E for comment but so far there has been no response.

Current outages stretch across the North Bay. KRON4 News has put together maps of current outages.

However, KRON4 News has been inundated by viewers asking why the power was turned off so far in advance of any potential wind events.

National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Anderson said gusts of 40 mph were recorded Wednesday and expected to increase and move south as the day goes along.

Anderson says winds should peak between Wednesday night and Thursday morning in much of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Some residents upset with the blackouts complained that the utility rushed to cut power when winds were not strong.

PG&E says it expects to cut power to eight counties later Wednesday.

The utility relies on its own weather forecasters when deciding whether to cut power.

People in Moraga, California, were lining up at gas stations to fill their tanks and at the town’s only grocery store to buy food before possibly having their electricity turned off.

Shelves also were also being emptied of emergency supplies at the town hardware store before Pacific Gas and Electric shut down power to help prevent wildfires.

Hardware and Lumber store owner Bill Snider said he sold 500 flashlights Tuesday and the shop ran out of batteries and coolers, even pricey ones that cost as much as $400.

Customer Elma Lear of Lafayette said she had to purchase $40 worth of beeswax candles from a home decor shop because there were none left at the hardware.

Pacific Gas and Electric says as many as 2 million people will remain without power at least through Thursday.

Pacific Gas and Electric says as many as 2 million people will remain without power at least through Thursday.

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