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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

AS HEAVY WINDS SUBSIDE, SMOKE COMES TO BERKELEY AND NEW FIRE WEATHER PERIOD LOOMS

Berkeley, California (Monday, October 28, 2019) -
UPDATE: Monday, October 28 4pm
PG&E just informed us that power has returned to most of Berkeley. The scope of tomorrow's planned outage and whether it will affect Berkeley is still unclear. We will continue to post updates as we get new information.


City staff are addressing multiple issues this morning stemming from PG&E’s intentional power shutoff, the weekend’s heavy winds and the smoke spreading from the region’s many fires.

Nearly 7,000 PG&E customers – an estimated 21,000 people – remain without power in Berkeley. Based on information from PG&E, customers should prepare to be without power until Friday Nov. 1 due to additional fire conditions that are predicted for Tuesday.

The more that people take independent actions to prepare themselves for power outage and wildfire evacuation, the more effectively we can help those who are vulnerable.

We are seeing significant smoke come into Berkeley, raising the Air Quality Index to over 150 in Berkeley. Air Quality Index levels over 150 are unhealthy. Everyone may begin to experience adverse health effects. Health officers from around the region – including City of Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez – advise that children, older adults, people with heart and lung disease and pregnant individuals should avoid being outdoors. Move activities indoors or reschedule to a time when the air quality is better. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. Take more breaks during all outdoor activities.

See resources and guidance for when air quality changes on our air quality page, cityofberkeley.info/air-quality.

Charging, wifi, and respite from smoke

Our libraries are open today for wifi, charging and respite from smoke.

Library hours of operation are:

DayCentral LibraryBranch Libraries
Monday12pm-8pm10am-6pm
Tuesday10am-8pm10am-8pm
Wednesday10am-6pm10am-8pm
Thursday10am-6pm12pm-8pm
Friday10am-6pm10am-6pm
Saturday10am-6pm10am-6pm
Sunday1pm-5pmclosed

The Library will also provide 24-hour wifi access outside of buildings during outages.

Power may take several days to be restored

It is unclear when power will be restored to Berkeley, though it may take several days. PG&E said on Monday morning, October 28, that weather conditions had cleared to allow them to inspect and repair lines. However, PG&E has said that it will take at least 2-5 days for crews to inspect and repair their lines and equipment and then to begin the process of turning power back on to the dozens of counties that are affected.

In addition, with an additional heavy wind and fire danger event starting Tuesday, PG&E has announced that they will need to intentionally cut power again on Tuesday with an “all clear” for inspections expected to begin on Wednesday. The affected area is expected to be the same as what Berkeley experienced in the first PSPS event in early October. As a result, affected Berkeley areas may be without power for up to 2 to 5 days afterward – at least until Friday Nov. 1.

Please see cityofberkeley.info/psps-updates for updates. Visit cityofberkeley.info/psps for general information. See our Twitter account, @CityofBerkeley for more frequent updates. For UC Berkeley campus-related information, see https://news.berkeley.edu.

 

Resources for people with power-dependent medical needs

If you have power-dependent medical needs, please call 3-1-1- between 7am and 7pm to let us know what those specific needs are so that we can help determine what other individualized resources might be available.

For detailed information about shutoff resources for people with medical or accessibility needs during this event, see cityofberkeley.info/psps#afn.

Previous updates

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