MENDOCINO Co., 7/30/18 -- PG&E has reiterated that there is no planned power outage scheduled for Mendocino and Lake counties. The City of Ukiah has also confirmed that their electrical department has no outages planned for today, and that PG&E has not planned any outage. PG&E also noted that they have made no calls to customers, or businesses with such information.
Earlier today rumors began to fly that PG&E had planned an outage for sometime this afternoon. These rumors were false. People cited a variety of second-hand information, but we have now confirmed with PG&E, the City of Ukiah, and from people who were at this morning's CalFire incident command meeting, that there is no planned outage. The Ukiah Police Department also sent out a Nixle alert stating that no outage is planned. And the Sheriff's Office has also noted on Facebook that there are no planned outages.
Ukiah City Manager Sage Sangiacomo confirmed that no outage is planned. He stated that they have not had any advanced notice of any of the recent outages, and that no outage is planned for today. The City of Willits also posted a notice on their Facebook page noting that not only is there no outage planned but, "...they have stated that power outages will be much less likely to occur than what we have experienced this past weekend as they have fixed some issues for us."
PG&E spokesperson Jennifer Robison stated that, "There are no planned shut-offs for Mendocino or Lake counties." She added that there is no plan for rolling blackouts, and that PG&E made no calls to customers or businesses about this.
As to the rumor, it is unclear where it came from. Several days ago PG&E noted that power usage should be reduced to help fight fires. There are also reports of someone claiming to be a PG&E worker spreading the rumor at grocery stores -- and from there it seems to have spread rapidly on social media. We checked with the Ukiah and Willits Safeways and they are both operating normally, and have not taken precautions beyond what is normally expected in an emergency situation like we're experiencing.
Sangiacomo noted that earlier today their customer service line began to receive many calls from people concerned about the rumor. When confronted with this rumor the customer service reps told four key stakeholders that they were aware of the rumor, and to have contingency plans in place just in case -- however, these four customers were promptly alerted that the rumor was in fact false, once that had been confirmed. These customers included the Ukiah Hospital Valley Medical Center, and a dialysis center.
Willow Anderson from Adventist Health Ukiah Valley emphasized that the hospital remains equipped with an backup electrical system, and that staff are prepared in the case of any additional outages.
The Ukiah Police Department also reminds people to use 911 for emergencies only. For information regarding evacuations and the fires check the Mendocino County Sheriff's Facebook page or call the Mendocino County EOC Call Center 707-467-6428.
For more information about the previous outages that occurred yesterday and Saturday evening, see our earlier coverage:
Additional reporting contributed by Kate B. Maxwell, [email protected]