During Monday’s webinar, PG&E committed to providing regular updates on progress and challenges faced during restoration efforts in their Sierra division and specifically Nevada County. YubaNet met virtually with their representatives late this afternoon for a progress update.
Yesterday, the utility’s spokespeople announced January 11, 2022 as the estimated time of restoration for all customers in Nevada County – with a majority of people being restored before next Tuesday. As of publication time, 8,700 customers are still without power after the December 27 winter storm.
PG&E’s Deputy Incident Commander Jason Regan joined us for a progress update today. He talked maps and updates on specific neighborhoods. We asked about the crews and equipment seen at the staging area at the Fairgrounds, what to do once power comes back – especially for your natural gas and propane appliances and more.
We’ll continue to provide updates and resources on our Happening Now page. Jason Regan agreed to be available for another video update this weekend – we will keep you posted. He shared a few photos of the ongoing work in Nevada County.
A few safety tips from PG&E
Gas restoration / relight process
- PG&E crews will need to gain access to properties. Every gas meter must be inspected and gas crews must ensure that no gas is flowing on the customer’s property. Turning gas off at every meter is a necessary first step.
- Following that process, all active gas lines must be cleared of residual gas.
- Once gas has been cleared and it is safe to do so, gas service will be returned to the lines.
- After that, Gas Service Representatives will visit customer homes and businesses to restore service and relight pilot lights.
- The restoration of gas service requires several safety steps and crews work to restore service safely and quickly.
- As reminder, PG&E employees always carry their identification and are always willing to show it to you. Customers should always ask to see valid identification before allowing anyone claiming to be a PG&E representative inside their home. If a person claiming to be a PG&E employee has identification and you still feel uncomfortable, call PG&E’s customer service line at 1-800-743-5000 to verify PG&E’s presence in the community
If you don’t understand how to use your generator or battery, you risk damaging your property, endangering your life and endangering the lives of PG&E employees who may be working on power lines in your community.
FOR YOUR SAFETY: Operating a portable generator improperly can contribute to fire ignition risk. Users should follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacture before operation. Never connect any generator to another power source, including PG&E power lines.
Portable generator safety
- Be sure that the power needs of the device (electric load) is supported by your generator and does not exceed the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Position your generator where its exhaust can vent safely to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and death.
- Only use extension cords that are properly sized for your generator to prevent overheating. The American Wire Gauge (AWG) chart can be utilized to determine which extension cord is right for you. AWG measures extension cord thickness; keep in mind that the thicker the cord, the smaller the AWG rating will be.
- Keep cords out of high-traffic areas so they don’t present a tripping hazard.
- Never run cords under rugs or carpets where heat can be generated or where damage to a cord may go unnoticed.
Permanent-standby generator safety
- Installation requires a licensed electric contractor or other qualified professional.
- Ensure electricity from your generator does not flow or “backfeed” into PG&E’s power lines. The most common way to prevent backfeeding is to install a “double-pole, double-throw transfer switch” along with your permanent standby generator.
- Any additions or adjustments to your house wiring should be inspected by your city or county building department.
- Once installation is complete, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to let us know about your backup system. PG&E line workers will then be aware of your generator when working on an outage in your area.
Portable battery safety
- Follow all warnings and manufacturers’ instructions for portable power stations/batteries.
- Never put a battery in a completely sealed environment.
- Do not smoke near batteries.
- Do not have any open flames near batteries.
- If storing on shelves or racks, make sure they are secure.
Home battery safety
- For home battery systems, ensure you are working with a reputable battery manufacturer and a high-quality, trusted installation company.
- Ensure that battery manufacturers meet standardized industry safety regulations.
- Work with a certified battery installer.