Placer County services coming back on line

AUBURN, Calif. Oct. 10, 2019 – Placer County continues to be impacted in day two of the planned power shutoff by Pacific Gas and Electric. Power was restored to the Placer County Government Center yesterday and today county departments are fully operational except for executive administrative functions, which are operating out of other county facilities. Those employees still impacted by the outage were redeployed to work at other office sites in Roseville and Rocklin. Power was restored to the executive offices by late this afternoon and normal operations are expected to resume tomorrow morning.

Approximately 100,000 county residents remain without power as of 3 p.m., down from 150,000 since the start of the power shutoff. At the height of the event, the outage impacted five of the county’s six cities with Auburn and Colfax completely blacked out and Loomis, Lincoln and Rocklin sustaining pockets of power loss. Many smaller towns along Interstate 80 were also impacted. Only North Lake Tahoe and the City of Roseville were not impacted.

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“We activated the Emergency Operations Center on Monday of this week in preparation for the shutoff and have been working to coordinate county resources since then,” said Holly Powers, the assistant director for Placer County Office of Emergency Services. “Our staff is actively monitoring the situation as PG&E moves from de-energization to, hopefully soon, full restoration.”

The PG&E planned shutoff was prompted by an increased fire risk due to dry and windy conditions. A red flag warning has been in effect since 5 a.m. on Wednesday and is expected to remain in place until 6 p.m. tonight. CAL FIRE/Placer County Fire continue to operate under generator power with increased staffing and equipment as a precautionary measure.

PG&E is reporting an increase in the number of residents taking advantage of the Community Resource Center located at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. The air conditioned center provides charging stations for mobile devices and medical equipment along with bottled water and is staffed by PG&E representatives.

Placer County Health and Human Services has been monitoring the CRC to assist residents who may have special medical equipment needs. HHS representatives have also reached out to numerous impacted health care facilities to provide additional support.

“We are pleased to report our skilled nursing and assisted living facilities are in good shape despite the power outage,” said Public Health Program Manager Mike Romero. “We are impressed with the emergency preparedness of our health care partners and are confident the welfare of our more vulnerable populations is in good hands.”

As PG&E works to restore power, county utility workers are preparing to bring septic systems back on line. Residents in the Christian Valley and Winchester regions are advised that alarms may sound when power is restored to their septic tank pumps. Those affected are urged to contact Placer County Environmental Utilities at 530-886-4913. Residents are advised to wait for a county worker to reset the alarm to ensure the septic tank pump is properly functioning.

While most county services are operational, five libraries remain closed to the public along with two museums in the Auburn and foothills areas.

Libraries:

  • Auburn
  • Applegate
  • Colfax
  • Foresthill
  • Penryn

Museums:

  • Gold Rush Museum
  • Bernhard Museum Complex

The Placer County Emergency Operations Center will remain activated during the duration of the power shutoff to assist county departments and partner agencies with response to community needs. The county is also staffing a public information line from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to answer non-emergency calls related to county services at 530-886-5310. For updated information, visit the county’s website at readyplacer.org.

Affected PG&E customers are encouraged to check PG&E’s power shutoff website, http://bit.ly/PGEPSPS, for the latest power shutoff updates and timeline for power restoration.