PG&E power shutoff: What you need to know

Outage map from PG&E website
A potential outage map on the PG&E website shows all of the Berkeley Hills and surrounding areas as contenders for the shut-off. Source: PG&E

PG&E is shutting off power to nearly 800,000 customers starting after midnight tonight. Only parts of Berkeley are likely to be affected — the hills and the UC Berkeley campus included. The shutoff in Berkeley will begin around noon.

The city of Berkeley has advised that anyone living in the hills who has trouble evacuating in an emergency make plans to leave as soon as possible.

Here’s what we know:

  • As of now, all Berkeley public schools will be open.
  • BART does not expect there to be any disruption to train or station services.
  • According to news media, cell phone service should not be affected.
  • CalTrans says it is preparing to close the Caldecott tunnel as it cannot operate without power.
  • UC Berkeley has cancelled all its classes on Wednesday. The campus will be open, but services will be limited.
  • PG&E will have one “community resource center” in Alameda County at Merritt College, Lot B, Leona Street, Oakland 94508. There will be electricity and water available.
  • Affected areas may be without power for up to six days after the shutoff

Resources and tips

  • PG&E’s outage line is 800-743-5002 and it has created a special website about power shutoffs (although its site has been crashing regularly). Check the outage map. Sign up for PG&E’s updates at www.pge.com/psps
  • Sign up for emergency alert messages from Alameda County at ACAlert.org
  • See the city’s wildfire evacuation page on how to prepare a go-bag, evacuate quickly and take other steps should there be an imminent wildfire.
  • Anyone can charge their phones or access 24-hour wifi at any Berkeley Public Library.
  • The city of Berkeley says if you live in the affected areas and have accessibility needs, or you use life sustaining medical equipment that is compromised during an outage, plan to evacuate and call 311 so we can get information.

Read more about public safety power shutoffs in Berkeley.