More than 360,000 homes across 36 counties and 17 tribal lands are affected by the outages that began last night, when gusts of over 70 miles per hour were recorded around the Bay Area. This latest power shutoff is PG&E’s last-resort response to preventing its equipment from malfunctioning and starting fires.
It’s a challenge for people working from home and students schooling online, and also for disabled and older people who rely on power for essential medical devices.
PG&E spokesman Aaron Johnson says the utility is trying to find ways to make this situation less difficult.
It has set up 106 Community Resource Centers that allow people to charge devices and access Wifi. These disability-friendly centers are open daily from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. Information is available through their website.
PG&E is also working with local food banks and hotels to provide free food and accommodation to those affected by the power cuts.
Outages are expected to continue into tomorrow as PG&E inspects, repairs damage, and restores power.