Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is gearing up to shut off the power whenever extreme fire danger conditions threaten a portion of the electric system serving Colusa County.
But unlike 2019, when PG&E customers were left in the dark on windy days, PG&E plans to provide a community resource center where people can charge their cell phones and medical devices, and get updates and information.
The Colusa County Board of Supervisors on June 30 signed an agreement with PG&E to use the Colusa County Veterans Hall, located on Bridge St. in Colusa, just for that purpose.
VFW Post No. 2441, which manages the hall, is in full support of the agreement and will get the $500 per day rent from PG&E when the hall is used during scheduled power outages, said Chief Administrative Officer Wendy Tyler.
PG&E will also install the generator needed to produce and provide power to the public at no cost to the county.
“We are also working with PG&E for some other facilities within the county as well,” Tyler said. “So, this won’t be the only facility.”
PG&E has secured a spot at the community center in Stonyford. The Williams Community Center rejected PG&E using their C Street property for a Public Safety Power Shutoff site, so the county may allow the company to use the Williams Library.
PG&E anticipates pulling the plug on power when environmental conditions create an extreme fire danger. Examples include “red flag” warnings issued by the weather service, low humidity, high winds, and extremely dry vegetation, according to the agreement.
PG&E plans to set up tables and chairs, and provide water and snacks to make residents using the facility comfortable.
PG&E has already opened PSPS sites in some areas of California, which operated from 8 AM to 6 PM. In some areas, the PSPS resource centers were open until 8 PM.
Tyler said PG&E may also look to establish sites in Princeton, Maxwell, Arbuckle and Grimes, so that all Colusa County communities have resources available to keep their personal devices charged. ■