PG&E restoring power to many after shutdown
Attention turns to possible wind event early next week
Lights began to come back on for many of the 120,000 residents who lost power.
Lights began to come back on early Thursday for a percentage of the 120,000 Northern Californians who were zapped of their power by embattled utility company Pacific Gas and Electric during its latest planned power shutdown.
PG&E conducted safety patrols and inspections after the winds passed without wreaking any significant havoc. The company said it then started to re-energize power lines once the inspections were finished.
The inspections will continue through the day and had restored power to people in Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties by 7 a.m., the company said.
Power in Colusa, Lake, Mendocino and Yolo counties was up and running by the same time, and PG&E said Shasta and Tehama counties were back on board by 8 a.m.
Glenn County had power back by 9 a.m., the company said. They did not say when customers in Tehama and Butte County would be restored.
Heavy winds and dry conditions that brought red-flag warnings for much of Northern California caused the shutdown, which did not affect as many customers as PG&E initially anticipated. The original blackout was expected to deprive 375,000 of power and affect people in Contra Costa and Alameda counties. Those two counties were spared when the weather even was more mild than the National Weather Service forecast.
Forecasters with the NWS are keeping an eye on a wind pattern that could create problems by Monday or Tuesday of next week, meteorologist Anna Scneider said. It was still too soon Thursday morning to gauge how severe that event will be.