Tesla Alerts Owners To Fully Charge Ahead Of Massive California Power Shutoff

PG&E Starts Second Round of Power Shutoffs as Blackout Spreads

Before PG&E Corp.'s massive blackout swept across Northern California, Tesla Inc. issued a politely worded but urgent message to its many area customers: charge up your auto, now.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January 2019, citing potential civil liabilities in excess of $30 billion from the fires.

PG&E Chief Executive Bill Johnson acknowledged that his company had left "millions of people" without a "fundamental service" they expect and deserve.

The largest US utility has turned power back on for almost a fifth of the almost 2 million people who lost power in California over a two-day span in a deliberate move to prevent its equipment from sparking. "It's unacceptable that the region is being forced to endure this level of disruption as the long-term strategy for dealing with the threat of wildfires".

"We faced a choice between hardship or safety, and we chose safety", Michael Lewis, PG&E's senior vice president of electric operations, said in a statement. Based on the latest weather forecasts and models, PG&E anticipates that this weather event will last through midday Thursday, with peak winds forecasted from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning and reaching 60 to 70 miles per hour at higher elevations.

The fire danger in Northern California is expected to decrease on Friday but remain elevated in the south part of the state.

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The firm said Thursday evening on Twitter it would start safety inspections with 6,300 field personnel and 45 helicopters standing at the ready as soon as gusty weather passes.

The first phase, which began at 12 a.m. on Wednesday, impacts around 530,000 customers, the second phase affects power supply to another 234,000 customers from around 12 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, and a third phase is also being considered for the southernmost portions of PG&E's service area.

Oakland supermarkets brought in refrigeration trucks to save food and Montclair businesses like Laurie Shepherd's dental clinic were unable to tell patients when they would reopen.

"We want to make sure there are no embers, nothing that could restart that fire", Hill said.

Power lines were blamed for one of the worst fire seasons in 2017 and 2018 after dozens of wildfires across the state burned hundreds of thousands of acres, leaving more than 80 people dead and thousands more homeless.

"Those fires and what they caused are still very real for people in our 'hood", he said. "Whether it's a grid-caused fire, or an ignition from a vehicle engine, or your lawnmower or something else, those are not places where people should be living and expect all the tax payers of the state to bail them out".

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