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PG&E Repairs Storm Damage to South Yuba Canal


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By: Jana Morris, PG&E

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GRASS VALLEY November 23, 2013 – High winds with gusts of up to 80 miles per hour blew through much of PG&E's service area over the past few days causing customer outages and damage to PG&E equipment, with customers in the Sierras hit especially hard. The severe winds also damaged PG&E's South Yuba Canal system, which is used in partnership with the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) to deliver domestic and agricultural water to both Nevada City and Grass Valley; while providing hydroelectric power to the Deer Creek Powerhouse.

"PG&E is working quickly to make safe, assess and begin repairs to the South Yuba Canal system, which sustained substantial damage from falling trees in several areas along its 19-mile course from the recent severe winds," said Mike Jones, a director of power generation at PG&E. "We are keeping in close touch with NID to inform them of the status and to offer our assistance to help them meet their customer needs," continued Jones. Helicopter air patrols were conducted on Saturday to assess the damage.

PG&E crews and engineers continually monitor all of the company's canals and hydro facilities, including performing preventative maintenance such as removing trees and other hazards. On Thursday, November 21, as the winds increased, PG&E worked with NID to stop the flow of water in the canal prior to the damage that occurred later that night. PG&E crews are working to remove fallen trees to gain access so repairs can begin safely and quickly.

Mike Jones said his team will work over the next few weeks to make repairs. Officials with the NID and PG&E are working on water supply contingency plans for affected customers in the event they may be needed. Fortunately, NID is able to utilize water from Deer Creek to reach most of its water treatment plants and take measures to reach pockets of customers who cannot be served by Deer Creek water supplies.

"NID has a long history and relationship with PG&E. Both agencies recognize the impact on our customers and we are fully engaged to resolve this situation and to get water flowing in the South Yuba Canal again," said Rem Scherzinger, General Manager of NID.

 

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