Power Outage Updates

Employee Message:

October 10, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

The Red Flag Warning has been lifted, and wildfire threat levels reduced. PG&E is working to restore power to impacted customers. Palo Alto Utilities lines have been checked and no issues were found. 

October 10, 2019, 8:00 a.m.

Late last night, PG&E shut down power to Portola Valley, Woodside and a small number of City of Palo residents in the foothills served by PG&E. City of Palo Alto Utilities did not shut down power to its Palo Alto Foothills customers. The Red Flag Warning is in effect until 12 p.m. today. The City is continuing to monitor the situation and will be conducting electrical line patrols this morning. If conditions worsen or if abnormal conditions are detected in the patrol, the City may shut down power to reduce fire danger.

At this time, City of Palo Alto employees should assume normal operations will continue. Any changes to work schedules would only be triggered during the power outage period. If your supervisor or department head has shared with you that you are a part of their minimum staffing, please plan for impacts of a power outage when returning to work including increased traffic on roads and freeways, impacts at Palo Alto train crossings, street light outages, and more. 

October 8, 2019, 4:40 p.m.

By now, you have likely heard news reports or received alerts directly from Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) that they may need to perform what they are calling a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) during extreme weather conditions. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning, which means forecasted high temperatures, gusty winds, and low humidity, for the period of Wednesday, Oct. 9 and Thursday, Oct. 10. 

Even though the City owns and manages our own electrical utilities, we rely on power supplied by PG&E. If PG&E needs to turn off power, the outages could last up to seven days and may impact all of northern California including some or all areas of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and San Mateo Counties, including the City of Palo Alto. Electrical services could be impacted as early as midnight tonight and extend over the next 24 hours or longer. As a result, we are taking several steps to ensure critical services continue with limited interruptions to the community.  

Importantly, we must plan for the potential of citywide electrical outages lasting up to several days. This includes minimizing impacts to our residents and local businesses, ensuring public safety services continue and maintaining other essential City services including water, gas and sewer services continue to operate on generators, if needed. 

At this time, City of Palo Alto employees should assume normal operations will continue.  Any changes to work schedules would only be triggered during the power outage period. If your supervisor or department head has shared with you that you are a part of their minimum staffing, please plan for impacts of a power outage when returning to work including increased traffic on roads and freeways, impacts at Palo Alto train crossings, street light outages, and more. 

Safety Reminders: 
  • Build an emergency supply kit with enough water, food, medicine, batteries and flashlights to last several days (for your home and car)
  •  Keep your vehicle gas tank filled and cash on hand (as electronic transaction devices and ATM machines could be without power)
Online Resources:
  • For more resources about Utility Outages in Palo Alto, go here
  •  To sign up for Emergency Alerts, go here
  • For additional emergency preparedness tips, go here
Community Safety Messaging: 

Due to the forecast of gusty winds, dry conditions, and high temperatures, there is higher fire safety risk for northern California. PG&E may turn off power to local customers and this could impact Palo Alto. Power outages may occur as early as midnight on October 9 and may last for several days. Should the power be down in Palo Alto, the community should consider the following: 

  • Call 911 for all emergencies
  •  All fire stations will be open and staffed as normal  
  •  The Palo Alto Fire Prevention Bureau will be fully staffed and functional. Unless the occupancy/site is impacted by the power shutoff, scheduled inspections will take place. 
  •  Police services and other public safety services will continue as normal
  •  For general Fire Department inquiries, call 650-329-2184

Find the latest updates from PG&E here: www.pge.com/psps