REDDING, Calif. – Almost 2 million Californians will be left in the dark at least through Thursday as the state’s largest utility implements a preemptive power shutdown in an aggressive effort to curb wildfire risks amid high winds and hot, dry conditions. Pacific Gas and Electric spokesman Mark Mesesan said Wednesday that it may take days to restore electricity to some customers because power lines and equipment must be checked before being reenergized. The strong winds, some as high as 70 mph, are expected to abate by Thursday afternoon. Residents in areas where power was going out lined up at gas stations and streamed into stores in pursuit of generators, flashlights, batteries and nonperishable food. The outage also prompted schools and universities to cancel classes and some businesses to close. ‘A victim of their own failure’: Why PG&E’s massive power shutdown in California was inevitable The first phase of the Public Safety Power Shutoff cut out electric service to 513,000 homes and businesses — or more than 1 million people — starting early Wednesday morning and affected mostly Northern California. The second phase was initially scheduled to start at noon and stretch to parts of cities as large as San Jose and Santa Cruz, impacting more than half a million people,… Read full this story
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