FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — PG&E received the all-clear orders for portions of Fresno, Madera, and Mariposa counties to start restoring power.
This after it was shut off due to dry and windy conditions sparking concerns.PG&E says power is expected to be restored for the majority of its customers by Tuesday evening.
For now, a resource center at the Sierra Oaks Senior Center will remain open for those who need to charge electronic devices or pick up snacks, water or solar portable chargers.
The gusty, dry winds created critical fire weather conditions up and down California, including here in the Valley.
“Our power went off last night about 9 o’clock right along with the rest of the mountain,” said Jeff Davis, owner of Canyon Feed & Supply, True Value Hardware.
The Sierra Nevada is under a red flag warning through Tuesday afternoon.
PG&E is taking precautions by shutting off power for more than 350,000 customers, in about 34 counties.
“It has turned out to be the largest public safety power shutoff of the year and it’s because we had the strongest forecast winds and the lowest levels of humidity this fire season,” said Denny Boyles, PG&E spokesperson.
Boyles says the goal of the Public Safety Power Shutoff program is to de-energize power lines to minimize the risk of wildfires sparking.
Pat Gallegos says she felt prepared.
“I knew it was coming because PG&E advertised it very well, the community knew what was going on it wasn’t something that just happened,” Gallegos said.
But several residents and businesses in the Prather-Tollhouse area are still in recovery mode after the Creek Fire, operating on backup generators.
“We’re here for the community and the community has supported us through this whole COVID, through the Creek Fire, they’ve been wonderful,” Davis said.
Though the power should soon be restored, Boyles says portions of local counties received all-clear orders.
“Once the power shutoffs have commenced, that inspection phase is the next most important thing because we want to make sure before we re-energize the lines, we look to make sure there’s no damage,” Boyles said.
And because of the power shutoffs, schools in the Sierra Unified School District were closed on Monday for both in-person and online classes.
Officials say they will continue to monitor the situation and will notify families regarding Tuesday school sessions.