Live updates: UC Berkeley cancels classes; 600,000 still without power

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Latest developments on the PG&E shut-off, up to 7:05 a.m. Thursday. Click here for the latest news story:

7:05 a.m. NWS issues ‘critical’ fire weather outlook: The National Weather Service reports that much of Northern California is under a critical fire weather outlook, while an extreme fire weather outlook has shifted to Southern California. Much of Northern California was under an extreme risk on Wednesday.

6:56 a.m. Moraga fire 70% contained: Fire officials said the fire was 70% contained by 6:30 a.m. as residents began returning home.

6:53 a.m. PG&E says 600,000 now without power: Melissa Subbotin, a PG&E spokeswoman, told The Chronicle that outages now affect about 600,000 customers across the state. Of those who lost power, 126,000 residences and businesses have had power restored, including 74,000 in Humboldt County.

6:47 a.m. Morgan Hill police arrest two during curfew: Two people were arrested in Morgan Hill for allegedly trying to burglarize cars in areas affected by the shut-off, police said. The city issued a curfew Wednesday night to prohibit loitering during the blackout.

6:40 a.m. Moraga police issue all-clear: Residents of the Sanders Ranch neighborhood were able to return home after evacuations due to a fire breaking out in the Moraga hills early Thursday. Merrill Circle loop is still closed for fire clean up, but the rest of the neighborhood is open.

6:33 a.m.: UC Berkeley cancels classes: UC Berkeley called off classes scheduled for Thursday due to the power outage. Officials said the campus has lost power.

6:15 a.m.: Winds in the hills remain strong: In addition to wind gusts recorded at higher than 70 m.p.h. on Bay Area peaks, gusts of 20 to 30 m.p.h. are common in the North and East Bay hills. It’s also dry, with relative humidity in the low teens — conditions under which a fire could spread quickly. A red flag alert for dry windy conditions that could cause fires to spread quickly remains in effect until 5 p.m. A wind advisory continues until 3 p.m. Even after the winds subside, light dry breezes are expected to continue Friday and Saturday, according the National Weather Service. “Even though the fire danger is not going to be as high, the dangerous conditions are still there,” said Will Pi, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Monterey. The weather pattern could change on Sunday when onshore winds are forecast to return — and there’s even a chance of rain next Thursday.

5:53 a.m. Power restoration to start at noon in Contra Costa: PG&E will begin the process of restoring power in Contra Costa County at noon Thursday, the county sheriff’s office said in a tweet. The process, which involves inspecting power lines and equipment before switching electricity back on, could take one to five days, the tweet said.

5:49 a.m.: More than 140,000 customers in Bay Area lose power: PG&E has completed the power shutoffs in the Bay Area. The latest totals of customers without power by county are: Alameda: 32,680; Contra Costa: 51,310; Santa Clara: 38,250; San Mateo: 14,766; Solano: 32,863; Sonoma: 66,289; Napa: 32,124 and Marin: 9,855. No shutoffs have taken place in San Francisco.

5:20 a.m.: Outages stir fear among people with medical needs: While hospitals have mostly been running normally, people who rely on electricity in their homes for vital medical needs — like keeping insulin refrigerated or using breathing machines — feared for their safety as the outages last longer.

5:15 a.m.: Red flag warning for Bay Area in effect through 3 p.m. Thursday: The National Weather Service warns of winds gusting up to 65 m.p.h. “Drivers are advised to use caution while operating high profile vehicles,” according to the advisory.

5:06 a.m.: Marin brush fire, now extinguished, closes 101 lanes: A large brush fire on a hillside near Tamalpais Drive in Marin closed two lanes but has been extinguished, according to the California Highway Patrol. The lanes are expected to be closed for another half hour as firefighters check the situation and clean up.

4:40 a.m.: Moraga fire at 60 acres, 60% contained: While 150 families had to evacuate, officials said the blaze no longer posed an immediate threat to homes.

4:26 a.m.: 626,966 customers across PG&E’s service territory are affected by the outages: Each customer is a home or business or another entity with a PG&E connection, so the actual number of people affected is far higher. Check our map for the latest.

4:17 a.m.: High wind gusts overnight on Mt. Diablo, Mt. St. Helena: Wind gusts hit 72 m.p.h. on Mt. Diablo and 77 m.p.h. on Mt. St. Helena just after 4 a.m.

3:00 a.m. Fire in Contra Costa County city impacted by outage prompts evacuation: Some residents living in Moraga — one of the cities widely affected by the power shut-offs imposed by PG&E in an effort to prevent wildfires from being sparked by downed or damaged electrical lines — were forced to evacute their homes Thursday morning as roughly 150 firefighters battled a 50-acre blaze.

1:00 a.m. Classes canceled at UC Berkeley: A power outage at UC Berkeley’s campus prompted school officials to cancel all classes on Thursday, according to UC Berkeley’s Office of Emergency Management. Officials advised university employees to contact their respective managers for further information.

12:21 a.m. Outages in Santa Clara County: In the Alum Rock neighborhood of San Jose, more than 4,000 customers were without power Thursday morning, according to PG&E’s outage map. San Jose city officials announced shortly before midnight that they were told by PG&E that they cut power to the Alum Rock area. San Jose also saw outages in the Almaden and Evergreen neighborhoods, city officials said. In a video statement tweeted out at about 12:30 a.m., San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo confirmed that “PG&E shut down power parts of our city, and we’re providing updates and information to all of our residents.”

12:01 a.m. Law enforcement officers in Contra Costa and Alameda counties respond to outages: Pinole Police Department deployed additional officers to patrol the city soon after PG&E cut power to the Pinole area Wednesday night, officials said. In San Ramon, the police department at 2401 Crow Canyon Road lost power before midnight, according to Capt. Denton Carlson, a San Ramon police spokesman. The department was using backup generators, Carlson said. Officials with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said they received reports from Oakland residents that portions of Oakland were without power before midnight. Further south in Fremont, police officers were deployed to patrol potentially impacted areas.

11:10 p.m. National Weather Service warns of strong winds: The weather service’s Bay Area office said winds at Mount St. Helena reached 60 mph with gusts of 70 mph, and winds at Mount Diablo reached 54 mph with gusts of 68 mph at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

10:39 p.m. Second phase of shutoffs begin: Shutoffs began hitting East Bay and South Bay counties shortly before 11 p.m., according to Karly Hernandez, a PG&E spokeswoman. Utility crews will “continue deenergizing through midnight tonight,” Hernandez said.

Click here to see earlier updates.

2019-10-10 13:57:00

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