Update November 24, 2021: SDG&E has widened its list of possible outage areas to include more than 53,000 customers. See the updated list of impacted communities here: https://www.sdge.com/psps-dashboard
By Miriam Raftery
November 22, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- Before you stock up on turkey and other groceries for a feast, be aware that San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is asking customers in 38 local communities to prepare for potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) over the Thanksgiving holiday.
A list of areas at risk of PSPS will be officially available on Tuesday at sdge.com/ready based on weather conditions. However, a text message from SDG&E sent to some customers tonight states that “approximately 28,600 customers including 2,229 medical baseline customers” are being notified of the potential outages in these communities: Alpine, Boulevard, Campo, Descanso, Dulzura, El Cajon, Escondido, Fallbrook, Jamul, Julian, Lakeside, Mount Laguna, Olivenhein, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Pine Valley, Potrero, Poway, Ramona, San Marco, Santa Ysabel, Valley Center, and Warner Springs. These Native American reservations may also lose power: Barona, Campo, Cuyapaipe, La Jolla, La Posta, Los Coyotes, Manzanita, Mesa Grande, Pala, Pauma and Yuima, Rincon, San Pasqual, Santa Ysabel, Sycuan, and Viejas.
Today, the National Weather Service issued a Fire Weather Watch from Thursday morning through 6 p.m. Friday evening for San Diego County mountains and valleys. If power is shut off, it will not be turned back on until conditions are safe to do so, the utility cautions.
“All of us at SDG&E are hoping that critical fire weather conditions do not result in having to shut off power over Thanksgiving so that our customers and employees can enjoy the holiday with their loved ones,” said Kevin Geraghty, SDG&E’s chief safety officer and senior vice president, electric operations. “Weather conditions change, and we have our team of professionals watching closely. However, we wanted to let our customers know as early as possible that they could be impacted so they can make alternate holiday arrangements if needed. There is nothing more important to us than the safety of the communities we serve, and our team stands ready to restore power as quickly and safely as possible should PSPS occur.”
In preparation, SDG&E has activated its Emergency Operations Center to monitor conditions 24/7, initiated pre-patrols of equipment located in high fire threat districts (HFTD) and will notify customers who are potentially at risk of PSPS beginning Tuesday morning via phone, text messages and email. Customers who are notified should be prepared to be without power through Saturday, depending on SDG&E’s need and ability to physically inspect equipment during daylight hours prior to re-energizing.
The company also advised those who receive PSPS notification to be prepared to activate their personal emergency plans to keep their family, pets and livestock safe. SDG&E will continue to provide customers with updates when there is more information about forecasted weather conditions.
PSPS are recognized by state regulators as an important safety tool of last resort to mitigate fire risk during dangerous weather conditions. A list of areas at risk of PSPS will be available on Tuesday at sdge.com/ready. A network of more than 220 weather stations located throughout SDG&E’s service territory provides grid operators with real-time data on wind, temperature and humidity conditions and help them decide when and whether to de-energize power lines to maintain safety.
To ensure customers are not surprised when the weather changes and becomes dangerous quickly, SDG&E recently released a new PSPS app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play or https://www.sdge.com/alerts-sdge.
To learn more about SDG&E’s extensive wildfire safety efforts, visit sdge.com/wildfiresafety. For ongoing updates about PSPS, please visit sdgenews.com or follow SDG&E’s social media channels at Twitter: @sdge Instagram @SDGE and Facebook.