Cal OES Center up and running for power shutoffs

State News

SACRAMENTO (KGET) – For the second time in a matter of weeks, the State Emergency Operations Center is up and running for power shutdowns.

“We’re just assessing the situation, making sure we’re working with the local impacted communities and making sure if there are any needs at all that we can address, then we’ll provide it immediately,” Bryan May, the Cal OES spokesperson, said. 

Emergency responders watched as the number of blacked-out customers climbed into the triple digits Wednesday.

A big black screen overhead shows the number and location of the shutoffs.

California is bracing for 353,000 customers of investor-owned utility companies to be without power, PG&E accounting for half of the outages.

State officials adamant they are pushing PG&E to communicate effectively this time compared to the big blackout earlier this month.

PG&E’s CEO suggested Governor Newsom consider allowing a state agency to make the final decision on whether to shut off power during high-fire threat weather events. 

Governor Newsom weighed in on this earlier this week.

“That’s a bailout to PG&E and I do not support bailing out PG&E. It’s interesting – San Diego Gas and electric is not asking for that because they’re able to do that in a way that’s responsible. They have to do their job, and if they don’t want to do their job, and if they want to submit that they can’t do their job, then that is a different conversation,” Newsom said.

The emergency operations center had never been activated for a power shut off until PG&E’s intentional outage from a few weeks ago. 

Officials say state leaders are discussing whether the emergency center will be activated every time the giant utility decides to shut off the power.

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