Cal­i­for­nia util­ity faces gripes over de­lib­er­ate blackouts

The Morning Call - - NATION & WORLD -

LOS AN­GE­LES — Even as the winds gusted dan­ger­ously just as fore­cast­ers pre­dicted, Cal­i­for­nia’s big­gest util­ity faced gripes and sec­ondguess­ing Thurs­day for shut­ting off elec­tric­ity to mil­lions of peo­ple to pre­vent its equip­ment from spark­ing wild­fires.

Pa­cific Gas & Elec­tric, though, sug­gested it was al­ready see­ing the wis­dom of its de­ci­sion borne out. Gusts top­ping 75 mph raked the San Fran­cisco Bay Area, and rel­a­tively small fires broke out around the state amid dry, windy weather.

PG&E cut power Wed­nes­day to an es­ti­mated 2 mil­lion peo­ple in an area that spanned the wine coun­try north of San Fran­cisco to the agri­cul­tural Cen­tral Val­ley and the Sierra Ne­vada foothills. By Thurs­day, the num­ber of peo­ple in the dark was about 1.5 mil­lion.

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