Millions Of Californians’ Lose Power Due To Massive Wildfires
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As of Monday, October 29, 2019, millions of Northern Californians are expected to get their power turned back on soon. However, many more may not get power back before new shutdowns occur due to devastating winds and wildfires.
About 200,000 Californians are still remaining away under evacuation orders due to threats of wildfires. 1.2 million people waited for restoration of their power this past weekend as extreme force winds continued to howl throughout the state.
Wildfires are occurring in Sonoma County as smaller fires spring up throughout the state. Many areas around California remain “a tinderbox,” explained Jonathan Cox, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Out of California’s total of 58 counties, 43 of them were under red flag warnings for high fire danger as of Sunday, October 27th.
California Governor Garvin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in response to the wildfires. Wind gusts have reached more than 102-mph. The Kincade Fire in Sonoma County that began on Wednesday, October 23th, expanded to 85-square miles. Ninety-four buildings have been destroyed and 80,000 more buildings are threaten. Two grass fires temporarily stopped traffic on an Interstate bridge.
In Vallejo, California, flames came dangerously closed to homes and smoke from a grass fire near an Interstate that winds through Sacramento caused a halt to traffic.
In Southern California, a fire in Santa Clarita near Los Angeles destroyed 18 buildings. As of Sunday, October 27th, the Tick Fire was 70 percent contained.
PG&E said on Sunday, October 27th that it has turned power off to 965,000 customers. Another 100,000 customers lost power due to strong winds. This brings a total of 2.7 million residents impacted by the fires. The largest evacuation took place in Sonoma County in Northern California where 180,000 people were told to pack belongings and leave.
The possibility that wind gust could blow hot ash and spread the fire across a major highway encouraged authorities to extend evacuation orders that covered sections of Santa Rosa, a city of 175,000. It was destroyed during wildfires two years ago.
Hundreds of people evacuated to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa by Sunday. Many of the evacuees came from senior care facilities.
More than 300 people had to sleep on cots and wheeled-beds at an auditorium. Many more stayed with their pets in a separate building.
The Soda Rock Winery, a historic site near Healdsburg, was destroyed by fire on Sunday. Devastated buildings included a general store and post office created in 1869.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, winds blew down a 30-fooot tree at a farmers’ market in Martinez, injuring nine people, including a child. Six people suffered injuries that were not life threatening and were taken to a hospital. During a fire in this region in 2017, winds of up to 90-mph lasted for nearly 12 hours. This time, the winds were stronger and expected to continue for more than 36 hours, not ending until today, Monday, October 28th.
Unseasonably hot weather and low humidity in Monterey caused fires. Two grass fires shutdown a 6-mile section of Interstate 80, including a bridge between Crockett and Vallejo. About 200 people from California State University Maritime Academy were forced to evacuate.
Smoke from another grass fire forced a section of Interstate 80 that goes through downtown Sacramento to close. Downed power lines may have caused a fire that destroyed a building at a tennis club and three other buildings in Lafayette, a suburb east of San Francisco. Authorities of the city of Vallejo reported that power outages closed its pumping station, which is needed to access a well, prompting an emergency.
Weather forecasting models show that the high winds could be the most powerful in California in decades. Dry Northeast winds were clocked at between 45-60 mph and peak gusts were said to be as high as 60-70 mph in the higher elevations.
It is expected that winds will end in affected regions by Monday, October 28th. Once the winds diminish, crews from PG&E will inspect the lines and the utility will start restoring power.
The devastating fires and the forecast of these fires throughout the fall has caused PG&E to have rolling blackouts throughout California with hopes of preventing fires. Obviously, the utility’s plans did not prevent wildfires from devastating large portions of the Golden State.
This event should make it clear that all sort of things from impeding and occurring fires, extreme weather conditions, and even a cyber attack on the nation’s electric grid can cause power outages in all regions of the United States. As a result, standby electric generators have become an essential part of a homeowner’s plans to remain safe and protected.
You never really know when the next power outage will strike your region of the country. It is obvious that you need a back up alternative when your area is plunged into darkness. It is essential that your family have a stand-alone generator that can keep your home powered regardless of what causes the next blackout.
Today’s generators include technologies like Wi-Fi, for easy and remote control whether you are at or near home or miles away.
Having a generator will ensure that a power outage won’t cause food or medications that need to be refrigerated to spoil. A generator can also prevent frozen or damaged pipes from occurring in a major winter blackout that may not be fixed until spring.
APElectric offers a wide range of stand-alone generators from such manufacturers as Cummins, Westinghouse, Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, Generac, and Guardian. They have a large inventory to choose from. Many models feature Wi-Fi so that you can monitor and control the generator from anywhere on Earth. The website also includes a generator sizing calculator and offers information on how to select the proper generator for your situation.