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California utilities to cut power to 364K customers Wednesday

SAN FRANCISCO — Pacific Gas & Electric Company says it is proceeding with planned power shutoffs that will affect nearly 180,000 customers throughout portions of Northern California.

The utility says the shutoffs affecting about 450,000 people are expected to begin around 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Sierra Foothills, followed soon after by blackouts north of the San Francisco Bay Area. In all, the power will be cut to portions of 17 counties.

PG&E says the shutoffs are needed to prevent wildfires caused by downed or fouled power lines as the National Weather Service forecasts gusty winds amid hot, dry weather.

Meanwhile, Southern California Edison says it could cut power Thursday to more than 160,000 customers in six counties and San Diego Gas & Electric is warning of power shutoffs to about 24,000 customers.

PG&E says the outages will last about 48 hours.

A blackout two weeks ago affected about 2 million people in northern and central California. PG&E says both shutoffs were aimed at preventing wildfires caused by downed or fouled power lines. The danger is from gusty winds in the midst of hot, dry weather.

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