PG&E map predicts new outage Tuesday to affect similar swath of Berkeley

Update, 7 p.m. The city now says Berkeley won’t lose power again this week. See the latest on Berkeleyside.

Original story: A new PG&E map released Monday shows that the planned blackout slated for Tuesday could, once again, target the Berkeley Hills, other parts of North Berkeley, and the Southside and Claremont neighborhoods.

The “potential” outage map released by the utility shows an ever-so-slight shift — less of the Elmwood could be affected, for example — from the neighborhoods that were warned about Saturday’s outage. However, PG&E’s maps have never been entirely accurate. The online address lookup tool has been more exact, as PG&E itself notes on the new map, but it does not yet include information on the upcoming shutoff.


City spokesman Matthai Chakko told Berkeleyside on Monday afternoon that the new map remains “an estimate” because the utility is still analyzing which properties could be affected. A more accurate map may be released Monday afternoon “at best,” he said.

By Sunday evening, PG&E said it had warned 500,000 customers they could be affected by the upcoming outage.

The planned blackout is prompted by a new fire risk caused by Diablo winds starting Tuesday and lasting through Wednesday, PG&E said. The utility said restoration could take two to five days to complete after that.

The city of Berkeley has warned residents who are affected by the current outage that they should do what they can to prepare for a potential “weeklong loss of electricity.” Restoration of Saturday’s shutoffs has already begun in other places, but PG&E told the city that the process will take longer this time than it did during a previous, less extensive, outage earlier in the month, because of extensive wind damage over the weekend, Chakko said. He said Friday may be the soonest people see their power back on.

“Many in Berkeley will need to take extra steps to stay without power for up to a week, while also preparing through Wednesday for potential wildfire evacuations,” the city said in a statement Sunday. The city “will continue to keep increased levels of police, fire and civilian staff working 24 hour shifts to respond to any events caused by loss of electricity, heavy winds, and heavy fire danger.”

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Note: KQED used PG&E data to create an embeddable interactive map of the planned outage slated to begin Tuesday. Berkeleyside has published it here with permission.