Tag: Power Failures and Blackouts

PG&E Chief Says Blackout ‘Cannot Become the Status Quo’

SAN FRANCISCO — Pacific Gas & Electric presided over a blackout. Now it is under the spotlight. PG&E’s chief executive said Thursday night that the utility did a poor job in executing the blackout, even if its intentions — pre-empting wildfires caused by its equipment — were sound. “We understand that the size and scope […]

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How California’s ‘Demonized’ Winds Shape Wildfire Season

By Jill Cowan ImageFirefighters work to extinguish the Saddleridge Fire burning in the hills between Sylmar and Santa Clarita.CreditEtienne Laurent/EPA, via Shutterstock Good morning. (Here’s the sign-up, if you don’t already get California Today delivered to your inbox.) Among meteorological phenomena, California’s autumn winds have distinctly bad reputations. The past couple of weeks haven’t done […]

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In a High-Tech State, Blackouts Are a Low-Tech Way to Prevent Fires

California has a reputation as a haven for technological innovation. But the state’s largest power utility is using the lowest of low-tech solutions — rolling blackouts — to protect dry landscapes from live power lines that could spark or overheat and set wildfires. The utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, turned off power to broad areas, […]

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‘This Did Not Go Well’: Inside PG&E’s Blackout Control Room

SAN FRANCISCO — It was a problem that California had come to dread. Weather models were signaling extreme winds and dry conditions from one end of the state to the other. The risk of wildfires was high. Pacific Gas & Electric, the giant utility whose power lines and transformers have been blamed for a series […]

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What to Know as Typhoon Hagibis Nears Japan

ImageCommuters in Tokyo on Friday night as Typhoon Hagibis approached Japan.CreditKevin Coombs/Reuters Typhoon Hagibis barreled toward Japan on Saturday, its outer bands lashing the country’s eastern coast as cities and evacuation centers braced for landfall. The Japan Meteorological Agency said early Saturday afternoon that sustained winds from the typhoon had been measured at about 100 […]

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The Haves and Have-Nots of (Electrical) Power in California

PARADISE, Calif. — The intentional blackout by California’s largest utility this week put Forest Jones out of work and his son out of school. On Friday morning Mr. Jones, a handyman and single father, sat in his apartment above a tattoo parlor waiting for the power to come back on and for school to reopen. […]

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Saddleridge Fire Rips Through Southern California, Forcing Evacuations

A fire tore through Southern California overnight on Friday, forcing mandatory evacuations of more than 12,000 homes and setting mobile homes ablaze, just as power was being restored to hundreds of thousands of Northern Californians. The Saddleridge fire was burning more than 4,000 acres in northwest Los Angeles as of Friday morning, according to the […]

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For the Most Vulnerable, California Blackouts ‘Can Be Life or Death’

MORAGA, Calif. — When Ben Faus went to bed at his home in the foothills above the Monterey Bay, he knew there was a chance his power would go out but he didn’t know exactly when. About 3 a.m. on Thursday he was jolted awake because his sleep apnea breathing machine stopped working. “All of […]

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How Long the PG&E Outage Will Last, and Other Questions Answered

Pacific Gas & Electric’s unusual decision to cut power to hundreds of thousands of customers in Northern California to reduce the risk of wildfires has angered many residents and lawmakers. Many of them have questioned whether the company made the right call. About 600,000 Northern California customers, including some in the San Francisco Bay Area, […]

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The Questions Surrounding California’s PG&E Outage

Pacific Gas & Electric’s unusual decision to cut power to hundreds of thousands of customers in Northern California to reduce the risk of wildfires has angered many residents and lawmakers. Many of them have questioned whether the company made the right call. About 600,000 Northern California customers, including some in the San Francisco Bay Area, […]

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PG&E Power Outage: Live Updates as Californians Confront Blackout

Here’s what you need to know: ImageA stop sign sat at an intersection in a darkened neighborhood in Marin City, Calif., after Pacific Gas and Electric cut power to many Northern California communities Wednesday.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times The second phase of the shutdown cut power to about 250,000 more customers. SAN FRANCISCO […]

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PG&E Power Outage Expands in California: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know: ImagePacific Gas and Electric cut power to many Northern California communities ahead of winds matched with dry conditions in Sausalito on Wednesday.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times The second phase of the shutdown cut power to about 250,000 more customers. SAN FRANCISCO — About 800,000 electricity customers in […]

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Bracing for Fire Season in California

Oakland, Calif. — There’s an unsettling quality to the weather during fire season in California, a frantic fluctuation from drizzle to blue skies to the dry gusty winds that transform small fires into big ones. It’s been a mild year so far. But in the wake of last year’s particularly destructive season the entire state […]

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Lights Out Across Northern California as PG&E Warns of Wildfire Threat

SAN FRANCISCO — The lights went off in stages in Northern California on Wednesday, from the forests near the Oregon border, down the spine of the Sierra Nevada and finally through the dense hillside communities across the Bay from San Francisco. Hundreds of thousands of households lost power when California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and […]

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50,000 Lose Electricity in Northern California, Power Company Says

A widespread power failure left 50,000 people in Northern California without power on Sunday morning. Large swaths of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Kensington, Oakland, Richmond and San Pablo were affected, said J.D. Guidi, a spokesman for the utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The power loss started at 7:35 a.m. after an equipment failure in […]

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While No Longer a Hurricane, Dorian Still Inflicts Damage on Canada

OTTAWA — Winds produced by the remnants of Hurricane Dorian tore roofs off buildings, downed trees, collapsed a construction crane and left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity in three provinces in Canada on Saturday. A storm surge accompanying Dorian produced waves estimated to be 50 feet high, jeopardizing coastal villages. Online maps posted […]

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How One Bahamian Town, Nearly Destroyed, Is Coping After Dorian

TREASURE CAY, Bahamas — Since Hurricane Dorian plowed through Stafford Symonette’s house, and with it much of his community of Treasure Cay, he has stopped by from time to time to visit the ruins of his home. What he hasn’t been able to bring himself to do, he said, is sift through the debris for […]

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India Shut Down Kashmir’s Internet Access. Now, ‘We Cannot Do Anything.’

MUMBAI, India — Masroor Nazir, a pharmacist in Kashmir’s biggest city, Srinagar, has some advice for people in the region: Do not get sick, because he may not have any medicine left to help. “We used the internet for everything,” said Mr. Nazir, 28, whose pharmacy is near the city’s famed clock tower. He said […]

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