Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

PG&E crews respond to damage, power outages from atmospheric river storm

Monday, October 25th, 2021

Source: PG&E

100’s of electric and tree crews, 1,000’s of employees and contractors assessing damage, making repairs and restoring power safely and as quickly as possible

Strongest storm to hit the area in more than a decade begins to move out of southern portion of PG&E’s service area

“gusts…exceeded 70 mph across Contra Costa”

Since Saturday, crews have restored nearly 580,000 customers impacted by the early-season storm

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Emergency Operations Center and hundreds of crews continue assessing damage, making needed repairs and restoring power in the aftermath of a major atmospheric river storm that delivered damaging winds, record rain totals, flooding and debris flows over the course of the weekend and Monday. The storm was one of the most potent to hit Northern and Central California in over a decade.

Since the storm began early Sunday, approximately 630,000 customers lost power which is about 10% of the utility’s 5.5 million electric customers.

As of 5 p.m. Monday evening, power has been restored to approximately 92% or 580,000 of those customers. Approximately 50,000 customers remain impacted.

PG&E continues to respond with approximately 3,000 electric and tree personnel on the job, including distribution and transmission line crews and troublemen and women, who are the utility industry’s first responders to an outage. Hundreds more employees are staffing the storm centers, performing safety duties, delivering needed equipment to PG&E yards and more.

While crews were pre-positioned to be in key locations in advance of the storm, they are now being moved and redeployed to the hardest areas of damage such as Sonoma, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties which were ground zero for much of the damage.

Mutual Aid assistance crews from San Diego Gas & Electric are expected to arrive Tuesday.

Record Rain and Wind

The record-breaking rain combined with strong winds produced the most storm-related impact seen in the PG&E territory in the month of October dating back to 2009. Downtown Sacramento at 5.44 inches broke a rainfall record that dated back to 1880. Blue Canyon received 10.4 inches of rainfall surpassing a record that dated back to 1964. Mount Tamalpais received 17 inches of rain. The strongest wind gust recorded was 92 mph in Alameda County. There were a number of other gusts that exceeded 70 mph across Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Marin, Plumas, Placer, San Mateo, Butte, and Napa counties.

PG&E’s stand is simple, that everyone and everything is safe. With that in mind, crews will continue to work overnight Monday and into the week until all customers are restored.

Keeping Customers Informed

While the storm has moved out of many areas, it is still impacting areas like Fresno, Bakersfield and San Luis Obispo.

PG&E knows how important it is to keep its customers informed. Customers can view real-time outage information on its website outage center and search by a specific address, by city or by county. This site has been updated to include in-language support for 16 languages.

Additionally, customers can sign up for outage notifications by text, email or phone. PG&E will inform customers about the cause of an outage, when crews are on their way, the estimated restoration time, and when power is restored.

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 by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
  • Avoid floodwaters that could have down wires or electrical equipment in them. If a customer’s home or business is threatened by rising waters, turn off all gas appliances, or close gas appliance valves with a one-quarter turn. If you are unable to shut gas appliances off, turn your gas service off at the meter by using a wrench or other suitable tool to give the valve a one-quarter turn in either direction until it is perpendicular to the pipe. To shut off electricity, locate the main switch at the electric panel and turning the switch off. Never touch electrical equipment with wet hands or while standing in water.  Once floodwaters recede, PG&E will restore gas and electric service to the community. When returning to their homes, customers should not attempt to turn on their gas or electricity. They should contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to request that their services be restored
  • Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should make sure 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 power lines. 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, ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling. Blue Ice from your picnic cooler also works well in the freezer.
  • Secure outdoor furniture: Deck furniture, lightweight yard structures and decorative lawn items should be secured as they can be blown by high winds and damage overhead power lines and property.
  • 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. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
  • 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 811express.com at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked.

Other tips can be found at www.pge.com/beprepared.

About PG&E

PG&E, 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 pge.com and pge.com/news.

 

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Storm Update: County preparing for next storm surge

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Morgan Territory Road open to local traffic only, expected to reopen Feb. 23; Alhambra Valley Road remains closed

Contra Costa County Public Works crews have been working steadily during the break in the rain to clear mud-covered roads and make repairs where flood and storm damage caused problems.  On Thursday, January 26, the Board of Supervisors ratified a proclamation of local emergency stemming from storm damage that took place during the first two weeks of January.  High winds coupled with continued rains over a short timeframe led to an estimated $18 million in damage in a number of unincorporated areas of the County, within our cities, and at water, park and sanitation district facilities.  The proclamation, along with the State’s declaration of a State of Emergency, will put the County and local jurisdictions in line for potential recovery funding.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA,) and the State Office of Emergency Services have made site visits throughout the County.  It will take several months for the County, working with State and Federal authorities, to get a more firm total on the damages and what costs can be covered.

Two road closures are still in effect in Contra Costa County:

  • Morgan Territory Road is closed between Marsh Creek Road and Manning Road. The road is open to local traffic and emergency vehicles only and is anticipated to reopen to through traffic on Thursday, February 23.
  • Alhambra Valley Road between Bear Creek and Castro Ranch Roads is closed indefinitely.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors declared an emergency for the repair of Alhambra Valley Road washout and authorized the Public Works Director to proceed with emergency repairs. The emergency authorization allows the Public Works Department to expedite the repair of this road. The Board of Supervisors also adopted a new resolution to proclaim a local emergency arising out of the damage caused by the series of storms in January and February 2017. This allows the County to potentially seek funding relief for response and damage repairs for emergency responses to the continuing storms during this time period.

Alternate routes for closure of Alhambra Valley Road

With more rain expected late this week, this is a good time to prepare for the next wave, checking rain gutters and storm drains for blockage.  If you’re concerned about potential flooding at your home or business, it’s not too late to visit one of the sandbag stations located throughout the county.  Please note that you’ll need to bring a shovel, but bags and sand are available for free.   Find out details regarding County sandbag sites at www.cccounty.us/sandbags.

County Public Works Maintenance road crews maintain the storm drain inlets through a program of annual inspection and cleaning.  To report a clogged catch basin or drainage inlet please call the Public Works Maintenance Division at 925-313-7000 during work hours and after hours call Sheriff’s Dispatch at 925-646-2441.

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Group of state legislators from Delta Caucus release statement on alarming Oroville Dam situation

Monday, February 13th, 2017

(SACRAMENTO) – On Monday, February 13, 2017, members of the Delta Caucus of the California state legislature, including three representing Contra Costa County, released the following statement regarding the hazardous situation at Oroville Dam after news reports that previous concerns about the safety of the dam’s current infrastructure were ignored:

“We are concerned that a clear alarm raised 12 years ago about the state of the Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway was discounted. There has been more than enough time since then for upgrades and maintenance to the structure. Instead, nearly 185,000 people have been displaced, and there are still people in harm’s way. A catastrophic failure at Oroville would result in uncontrolled releases that do considerably more harm to the surrounding communities, and threaten those further downstream, including levee-protected communities in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. For now, we have a collective responsibility to ensure that people are safe and that necessary steps are taken to prevent further compromise of the entire Oroville facility.  When the immediate threats have subsided, we need to clearly assess this disaster and its causes.  We have a duty to ensure California’s existing infrastructure is maintained and upgraded, and not sacrificed in favor of conveyance projects.”

Caucus Co-Chair Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) and Assemblymembers Tim Grayson (D-Concord) and Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) are members of the Delta Caucus, a bipartisan group of legislators whose districts include portions of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. The caucus works to keep their colleagues updated on the latest scientific data, economic developments, and actions taken by the state agencies responsible for the Delta, including the State Water Resources Control Board, the Department of Water Resources, and the Delta Stewardship Council.

They and the following legislators wished to be part of this statement: Co-Chair Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Assemblymenbers  Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) and Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove).

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County road closure update: Morgan Territory Road expected to reopen Tuesday, Feb. 14

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Morgan Territory Road is closed between Marsh Creek Road and Manning Road. The road is open to local traffic and emergency vehicles only and is anticipated to reopen to through traffic on Tuesday, February 14.

Alhambra Valley Road west of Ferndale Road is restricted to one lane with stop signs installed due to the erosion of the road shoulder.

Alhambra Valley Road between Bear Creek Road and Castro Ranch Road remains closed indefinitely. Signs and message boards alert drivers of the closure. There is not an estimated time frame for reopening Alhambra Valley Road at this time.

The amount of rain received has saturated the soil which makes it more difficult to remove the mudslides and clean the roadways. Crews are monitoring County roads during the storms and additional closures may be necessary for public safety. The County will continue to provide updates as conditions change.

If you’re concerned about flooding at your home or business, it’s not too late to visit one of the free sandbag stations located throughout the county.  Please note that you’ll need to bring a shovel, but bags and sand are available for free.   Find out details regarding County sandbag sites at www.cccounty.us/sandbags.

County Public Works Maintenance road crews maintain the storm drain inlets through a program of annual inspection and cleaning. To report a clogged catch basin or drainage inlet please call the Public Works Maintenance Division at 925-313-7000 during work hours and after hours call Sheriff’s Dispatch at 925-646-2441.

 

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County road closure update: Morgan Territory Road expected to reopen Thursday

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Morgan Territory Road is closed between Marsh Creek Road and Manning Road. The road is open to local traffic and emergency vehicles only and is anticipated to reopen to through traffic on Thursday, February 9.

Alhambra Valley Road between Bear Creek Road and Castro Ranch Roadremains closed indefinitely. Signs and message boards alert drivers of the closure. There is not an estimated timeframe for reopening Alhambra Valley Road at this time.

The amount of rain received has saturated the soil which makes it more difficult to remove the mudslides and clean the roadways. Crews are monitoring County roads during the storms and additional closures may be necessary for public safety. The County will continue to provide updates as conditions change.

If you’re concerned about flooding at your home or business, it’s not too late to visit one of the free sandbag stations located throughout the county.  Please note that you’ll need to bring a shovel, but bags and sand are available for free.   Find out details regarding County sandbag sites at www.cccounty.us/sandbags.

County Public Works Maintenance road crews maintain the storm drain inlets through a program of annual inspection and cleaning. To report a clogged catch basin or drainage inlet please call the Public Works Maintenance Division at 925-313-7000 during work hours and after hours call Sheriff’s Dispatch at 925-646-2441.

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Water level at Los Vaqueros Reservoir rises to a new high

Friday, February 3rd, 2017
The 100,000 acre-foot Los Vaqueros Reservoir

Los Vaqueros Reservoir. courtesy of CCWD.

After leaning on Los Vaqueros Reservoir for supply during the drought, the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) is pleased to announce that the reservoir is now holding more water than it ever has for its customers.  The reservoir is doing its job and the filling underway is good news for serving customers now and into the future.

This week, the reservoir’s storage level rose above 133,000 acre-feet, surpassing the high reached in 2013.  CCWD will continue to fill while conditions are favorable, depending on Delta water quality and energy costs.

“Los Vaqueros continues to serve CCWD customers well, especially during this drought,” said CCWD Board President Lisa M. Borba. “Customers responded tremendously to the call for conservation, and we were able to save conserved water in the reservoir, positioning us well if dry years continued. Now we are adding to our water saving account.”

CCWD owns and operates Los Vaqueros Reservoir primarily to manage water quality for the 500,000 residents of central and eastern Contra Costa County.  Water from the Delta is pumped into the reservoir when water quality is good and then is used to keep water quality delivered to its customers high when salinity levels rise in the Delta.  The off-stream reservoir located near Brentwood was originally constructed in 1998 with the ability to store up to 100,000 acre-feet of water.

An expansion of the reservoir was completed in 2012 increasing the capacity to 160,000 acre-feet.  Stores of water in the off-stream reservoir reached a then high of 132,900 acre-feet in 2013 and was then drawn upon, as designed, to meet water supply demands during the past few years of drought.

With strong and steady storms this winter supplying fresh water to the Delta, CCWD has turned on its pumps to move high quality water into Los Vaqueros for future use.

Learn more about CCWD and Los Vaqueros Reservoir at www.ccwater.com.

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County Supervisors proclaim local emergency due to $18 million in road, other damage from storms

Saturday, January 28th, 2017
Damage to Alhambra Valley Road between Bear Creek Road and Castro Ranch Road. courtesy of CCCSheriff

Damage to Alhambra Valley Road between Bear Creek and Castro Ranch Roads. courtesy of CCCSheriff

Marsh Creek, Alhambra Valley Roads still closed; cleanup continues

During a special meeting on Thursday, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors ratified a proclamation of local emergency stemming from storm damage that took place during the first two weeks of January.  High winds coupled with continued rains over a short timeframe led to an estimated $18 million in damage in a number of unincorporated areas of the County, within our cities, and at water, park and sanitation district facilities.  The proclamation, along with the State’s declaration of a State of Emergency on Monday, will put the County and local jurisdictions in line for potential recovery funding.

Alternate routes for closure of Alhambra Valley Road.

Alternate routes for closure of Alhambra Valley Road.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA,) is doing site visits throughout the state this week, along with the State Office of Emergency Services.  It will take several months for the County, working with State and Federal authorities, to get a more firm total on the damages and what costs can be covered.

At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Andersen praised Public Works, the Sheriff and the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services workers for their efforts to respond quickly to the storm’s impacts, noting that repairs are being made as quickly as possible.  Public Works Director Julie Bueren agreed, noting that months of work in advance by Public Works and Flood Control District staff helped to minimize the problems in the unincorporated area.  Two problem areas that were closed are now open:  Morgan Territory Road and McEwen Road.

Two major road closures are still in effect in Contra Costa County:

  • Marsh Creek Road between the Clayton city limits and Deer Valley Road
  • Alhambra Valley Road between Bear Creek and Castro Ranch Roads

Marsh Creek is open for local traffic only.  Caltrans and County officials are working jointly developing a plan to repair the sinkhole on Alhambra Valley Road.

With more rain expected next week, and the ground still very saturated from previous storms, you are encouraged to use any gaps in the rain to prepare for the next wave, checking rain gutters and storm drains for blockage.  If you’re concerned about flooding at your home or business, it’s not too late to visit one of the sandbag stations located throughout the county.  Please note that you’ll need to bring a shovel, but bags and sand are available for free.   Find out details regarding County sandbag sites at www.cccounty.us/sandbags.

County Public Works Maintenance road crews maintain the storm drain inlets through a program of annual inspection and cleaning. To report a clogged catch basin or drainage inlet please call the Public Works Maintenance Division at 925-313-7000 during work hours and after hours call Sheriff’s Dispatch at 925-646-2441.

Important phone numbers and webpages:

(925) 313-7000 Public Works Maintenance Division- For emergencies during normal business hours

(707) 551-4100 California Highway Patrol- For emergencies after hours

(925) 646-2441 Contra Costa County Sheriffs Dispatch- For emergencies after hours

http://www.cccounty.us/sandbags  – Contra Costa County Sandbag Locations

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County road closure updates – McEwen Road closed in West County

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Road Closures 1-20-17 map

McEwen Road is closed between Highway 4 and Carquinez Scenic Drive near Port Costa due to mudslides. The road is open to emergency vehicles only.

Alhambra Valley Road between Bear Creek Road and Castro Ranch Road is closed indefinitely.Signs and message boards will alert drivers of the closure. There is not an estimated timeframe for reopening Alhambra Valley Road at this time.Drivers are encouraged to use the routes on the map above as alternate routes for Alhambra Valley Road.

Morgan Territory Road is open to local traffic only between Marsh Creek Road and Manning Road is anticipated to reopen the week of January 23-30

The amount of rain received has saturated the soil which makes it more difficult to remove the mudslides and clean the roadways. Crews are monitoring County roads during the storms and additional closures may be necessary for public safety. The County will continue to provide updates as conditions change.

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