PG&E Mobilizes for Potent Storm System Arriving Late This Week


Time to prepare is now as after rain and wind Thursday and Friday, snow could fall as low as 2,000 feet with several feet of accumulation over 5,000 feet 

National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning encouraging people to avoid travel

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Ahead of a strong winter storm expected to bring heavy rain, strong winds and low-elevation snow, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews are readying to respond to expected power outages.

The National Weather Service has issued a rare-for-California Blizzard Warning, which runs from Thursday to Sunday. A social-media post from the NWS' Sacramento Office makes the potential severity quite clear: "Blizzard warning! Driving conditions will deteriorate rapidly Friday-Saturday AM with white-out conditions & near-zero visibility from this dangerous winter storm. AVOID TRAVEL DURING THIS TIME!"

Starting Thursday and continuing through the weekend, the storm is expected to have the heaviest impact in the Sierra Nevada foothill and mountain communities between El Dorado and Nevada counties. Other impacted areas include the North Coast, Peninsula and the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, according to PG&E meteorologists.

An initial wave of moderate to heavy rain and gusty winds is expected in the northern part of PG&E's service territory during the day Thursday, with more widespread rain and gusty conditions on Friday. Low- and middle-elevation snow impacts are expected Saturday into Sunday, with several feet of snow above 5,000 feet and six-to-12-inches possible down to 2,000 feet.

In previous winter storms where high accumulations of low snow have occurred, some customers have experience extended outages as our crews often have difficulty accessing more remote locations in higher terrain due to roads blocked by trees, debris and snow. PG&E is pre-staging crews and materials and is prepared to use helicopters, snow cats and four-wheel drive to gain access to hard hit areas; however, customers in remote areas should prepare for extended outages given the unique circumstances of this storm.

The utility also has been communicating with cities and counties to share preparation and plans.

Storm Safety Tips

Just as PG&E follows its plan to prepare for and respond to a storm, customers are urged to prepare their families and neighbors as well. Here are some storm safety tips:

  • Never touch downed wires: If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move it—and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 9-1-1 and then PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
  • Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should ensure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to customers, as well as crews working on powerlines. If using portable generators, be sure they are in a well-ventilated area.
  • Use flashlights, not candles: During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights and not candles, due to the risk of fire. And keep extra batteries on hand. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades, animals and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
  • Have a backup phone: If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup. Having a portable charging device helps to keep your cell phone running.
  • Have fresh drinking water and ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer to prevent food spoilage.
  • Secure your outside furniture: Strong winds can blow lawn chairs and other outdoor items into powerlines.
  • Turn off appliances: If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns.
  • Safely clean up: After the storm has passed, be sure to safely clean up. Never touch downed wires and always call 8-1-1 or visit at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked.

Faster Online Outage Info

If an outage does occur, PG&E's online outage center has been updated and improved based on customer feedback. Significant changes include:

  • Faster loading times to find important outage information.
  • An Outage Status Tracker so customers can get status updates on the assessment and repair of their outage.
  • More local information on the extent of outages around a customer's home and business
  • More information on how to prepare ahead of outages, what causes outages and how PG&E prioritizes restoration work.

PG&E will let customers know the cause of an outage, when crews are on their way, the estimated restoration time and when power has been restored.

If receiving an outage text, customers can reply "status" to learn the latest information on the outage without visiting the outage page.

Other tips can be found at: Safety and Preparedness, Storm Safety, and Safety Action Center.

About PG&E
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and

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SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company


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