Pacific Gas & Electric pulled the plug on 120,000 people in Northern California Wednesday to stop power lines from sparking wildfires — then it pulled back on plans to ditch another 200,000 in darkness.
Citing “improved weather conditions including some precipitation and increased humidity levels,” the utility said it was able to knock El Dorado, Placer, Sierra, Yuba and Nevada counties off its list for the planned public safety shutoff.
The outages that did roll out Wednesday morning affected 48,000 customer accounts — with an average of 2½ people connected to each account — in portions of Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama and Yolo counties.
“Wind speeds exceeding 50 mph were recorded earlier today in most of these counties, including wind speeds over 70 mph in Sonoma County,” the utility said in a statement.
PG&E said 14,000 other customers — or about 35,000 more people — could still lose power in Butte, Plumas, Tehama and Yuba County later Wednesday if weather conditions did not improve.
People who lost power were expected to get it back Thursday.
It was Tuesday that PG&E first curtailed the size of its latest planned blackout and dropped Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties from the list.
It initially said 450,000 people could be affected by the shutoff meant to avoid a catastrophic wildfire fueled by gusty winds and dry conditions.