Oakland Fire Safety & PG&E Power Shutoff Information (Beginning October 26, 2019)

Date Posted: October 25th, 2019 @ 11:05 AM
Last Updated: January 24th, 2020 @ 10:31 AM

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Latest Situational Updates

Updated Tuesday, October 29, 4:00 p.m.

This afternoon PG&E informed the City of Oakland that all Oakland customers affected by the October 26 public safety power shutoff have had energy restored.

PG&E also confirmed to the City that a previously-announced new round of power shutoffs will occur late this evening, beginning Tuesday, October 29, at approximately 10:00 p.m. This round of shutoffs will again affect Oakland. The weather conditions prompting the shutoff are forecasted to clear on Wednesday morning. Updates to the October 29 power shutoff will be posted online here.

Updated Monday, October 28, 5 pm

As of 4:30 pm, PG&E reports that just 12,000 Oakland customers impacted by the Public Safety Power Shutdown (PSPS), or experienced power outages due to downed PG&E power lines, remain without power.

More Power Shut Offs Expected This Week:

PG&E confirmed to City officials yesterday that it anticipates another round of power shutdowns starting Tuesday (October 29) morning and running though midday Wednesday (October 30). Oakland officials are awaiting confirmation from PG&E as to if and when we will again lose power in parts of Oakland.

Red Flag Warning

Whether or not power is shut off again in Oakland, the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Tuesday, October 29, starting at 1 pm, and lasting through approximately noon on Wednesday, October 30.

Air Quality

Though air quality has improved since this morning, it remains a significant concern today and throughout the week as fires in neighboring areas persist. We will share information with staff and the community as is applicable. A message was sent to City staff updating them about the air quality situation earlier today, and another will go out later today.

Information Technology Division

  • All internal systems are up and running

  • Public safety radio towers are operational.

  • There are backup generators on site at all public safety radio towers in case of a future power loss.

  • The Oaklandca.gov website up and running and our public information team continues to update the public of developments on that platform.

Planning & Building Department

  • Responded to all incidents of trees impacting structures.

  • 2 buildings have been Red tagged; 1 Yellow tagged.

Fire Department

The Fire Department experienced a significant increase in calls between Sunday and Monday morning. Overnight, there were 16 fires reported in Oakland - 3 structure; 5 vegetation; 8 outside. No fatalities or injuries were reported.

The Oakland Fire Department will increase staffing for the coming Red Flag Warning and deploy 2 additional Engines companies to conduct patrols in the wild land urban interface.

Police Department

Traffic patrols are evaluating current street light outages on Mountain Blvd. As of 3:30 pm, six signalized traffic intersections were still without power. Once the lights start flashing, OPD will be in touch with the Department of Transportation to resume the normal function of traffic signals.

Recreation Centers

  • The Tassafaronga Center which was closed on Monday will reopen on Tuesday.

  • The Montclair Recreation Center is scheduled to reopen Tuesday, October 29, as long as facility’s power is restored by PG&E.

Parks

  • Joaquin Miller Park and the Dunsmuir House will remain closed through Tuesday and Wednesdays Red Flag conditions.

Libraries

Montclair Branch Library is still without power. Will reopen Tuesday at 10 AM if power is restored.

Public Works (PWD)

The Public Works Division received over 150 calls. Since Sunday, October 27, PWD has not received any new calls, with the exception of numerous calls from the public requesting status updates on calls for service.

News estimates suggest that there were at least 59 tree related service requests made on Sunday; approximately five of those incidents included impacts to power and phone lines.

City tree crews promptly completed 5 priority 1 jobs which included traffic blockages.

Transportation (DOT)

  • Six traffic signals are reported to be down between Mountain Boulevard and Golf Links Road.

  • DOT is removing stop signs from intersections with traffic signals.

  • Request for the public:

    • Please report traffic lights that are non-functioning and appear dark.

    • Please report intersections that have functioning traffic lights AND temporary stop signs.

Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Closures

Please visit ousd.org for updates on school closures for Tuesday, October 28.

Key Phone Numbers for Assistance

  • Only call 911 for life-threatening situations requiring immediate attention

  • Call 311 or (510) 615-5566 for City maintenance issues such as a fallen tree or blocked street

  • Call 211 for critical human services information regarding emergency shelters, disaster relief services, assistance with temporary housing, and other basic social needs.

Oakland’s Emergency Public Information Officers have staffed the Emergency Operations Center for the duration of this activation and advise the public to check www.oaklandca.gov/firesafety for ongoing updates.

Updated Monday, October 28, 2:15 pm

Nearly 48 hours since PG&E began its latest Public Safety Power Shutdown (PSPS) in the Bay Area, it has been noted that this is the most severe wind event since 1995. At 8 am this morning, PG&E officially called the “all clear”. PG&E began inspecting infrastructure and determine in what areas to begin re-energization efforts. Preliminary reports show that there may be significant damage. Based on the level of damage and the extent of repairs required, they have advised that the re-energization period may take longer than the 10/9 PSPS event. They are projecting that there will be a partial restoration of power (at approximately 50%) by 4pm today – initial reports suggest power has begun to come back on for some Oakland customers. The remainder is projected to be fully energized by tomorrow, October 29. The decision to turn off the power, and the speed at which it is restored, is planned and managed solely by PG&E.

More Power Shut Offs Expected This Week:
PG&E notified City officials yesterday that it anticipates another round of power shutdowns starting Tuesday (October 29) morning and running though midday Wednesday (October 30). PG&E has noted that the affected zone may be smaller than the initial forecast. We are awaiting confirmation from PG&E later this afternoon as to if and when we will again lose power in parts of Oakland. Current weather forecast is for a Red Flag warning tomorrow morning through Wednesday afternoon.

City Impact:

· Overnight, there were 16 fires reported in Oakland - 3 structure; 5 vegetation; 8 outside.

· 311 call center opened this morning at 0700 hrs.

· The Community Resource Center (CRC) set up by PG&E remains open at Merritt College 0800 -2000 hrs. As of 0930, there were approximately 20 people at the CRC.

· Three buildings have been tagged due to damage - 2 red tags; 1 yellow tag.

Air quality is of significant concern today. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District reported technical issues yesterday with equipment that lead to incorrect readings at times. There have been questions about the accuracy of the levels in our area. They have reported that readings are now functioning properly. We will continue to monitor their reports and share information with staff and the community as is applicable. A message was sent to City staff updating them about the air quality situation.

Oakland Police has additional units patrolling, and Oakland Fire is back to normal staffing now, but will increase tomorrow in anticipation of the Red Flag event. At this time no crimes or vehicle collisions have been reported in connection with the PG&E PSPS power shutdown. The Department of Transportation has crews ready to reactivate traffic signals as power is restored and to retrieve portable stop signs. Public Works crews continue to remove fallen trees, branches and other debris.

The City's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains fully staffed to monitor weather and incidents on the ground in Oakland and ongoing events throughout the region. We strongly encourage residents to call 311 immediately (NOT 911) to report any maintenance issues such as a fallen tree or blocked roadways. Call 911 to report downed power lines.

City Facility and Program Impacts

At this time, all City departments are generally conducting business as usual, with exceptions noted below.

Park Closures & Restrictions

· Joaquin Miller Park is closed to the public on Red Flag days. Signs will be posted at all park entrances and trails regarding the closure.

· Barbeques and fires are prohibited in all City parks on Red Flag days.

Recreation Center Closures

· Montclair Recreation Center - due to power outage

· DeFremery Pool - due to air quality concerns

· Temescal Pool - due to air quality concerns

· Lake Merritt Boating Center - due to air quality concerns

Head Start Locations

Tassafaranga Recreation Center due to earlier air quality concerns

Seniors Centers

No closures at this time.

Public Libraries

· The Montclair Branch is closed due to PSPS

Oakland Unified School District Closures

· Carl Munck Elementary

· Chabot Elementary

· Community Day

· Grass Valley Elementary

· Hillcrest Elementary

· Joaquin Miller Elementary

· Kaiser Elementary

· Montclair Elementary

· Montera Middle

· Redwood Heights Elementary

· Rudsdale High School

· Skyline High School

· Sojourner Truth Elementary

· Thornhill Elementary

Key Phone Numbers for Assistance

· Only call 911 for life-threatening situations requiring immediate attention

· Call 311 or (510) 615-5566 for City maintenance issues such as a fallen tree or blocked street

· Call 211 for critical human services information regarding emergency shelters, disaster relief services, assistance with temporary housing, and other basic social needs.

Please check www.oaklandca.gov/firesafety for ongoing updates.

Updated Monday, October 28, 5:20 a.m.

At this time there are no reports of active fires in the City of Oakland. City staff responded overnight to numerous reports of wind-related incidents including tree and limb failures, downed wires, and depowered traffic signals, as well as 16 fires – three structure fires, eight outside fires, and five vegetation fires.

Due to the fires in neighboring communities, Oaklanders may see and/or smell smoke. According to AirNow.gov, the forecasted air quality in Oakland is in the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” range today, improving tomorrow. AirNow.gov recommends, “People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.” For updates visit https://airnow.gov.

Remain vigilant and be prepared! Because of the widespread nature of the shutoff and the potential damage to the system from high winds, the power shutoff could last several days. PG&E says it will restore power once it has inspected the lines for safety and made any necessary repairs, which could account for delay in re-energizing the lines. PG&E notified City officials Sunday afternoon that it anticipates another round of power shutdowns starting Tuesday (October 29) at 4:30 am and concluding at approximately 12:00 pm on Wednesday (October 30). The decision to turn off the power, and the speed at which it is restored, is planned and managed solely by PG&E.

Oaklanders are advised to remain alert and continue taking fire safety precautions, such as using flashlights and other battery-powered lights rather than candles, parking personal vehicles off-street to keep narrow roads clear for emergency vehicles, and subscribing to www.ACAlert.org for alerts and updates via text message, phone calls, or email.

PG&E has opened Community Resource Centers in the counties being affected by the shutdown. The centers will remain open during daylight hours only. Restrooms, bottled water, electronic-device charging and air-conditioned seating for up to 100 individuals will be available at the facilities. The resource center for Alameda County is at Merritt College in Oakland, located at 12500 Campus Dr., Oakland, CA 94619. It will be open today from 8am to 8pm.

Key Phone Numbers for Assistance

· Only call 911 for life-threatening situations requiring immediate attention

· Call 311 for City maintenance issues such as a fallen tree or blocked street

· Call 211 for critical information regarding emergency shelters, disaster relief services, assistance with temporary housing, and other basic social needs.

Updated Sunday, October 27, 8:30 p.m.

Nearly 24 hours since PG&E began its latest Public Safety Power Shutdown (PSPS) in the Bay Area, 56,700 customers in Alameda County are still without power, including 22,557 customers in Oakland, affecting an estimated 67,671 Oaklanders.

PG&E anticipates that the weather conditions leading to the PSPS will subside in the early morning hours of Monday (approximately 1 am). Once PG&E confirms that all power shut-offs are complete, it will begin the process to inspect the system and restore power, which they say could still take several days. Each county will be notified when this process begins in that area.

They advise that the process to re-energize the lines could still take up to several days, depending on how long it takes for their crews to inspect the system, the level of damage caused by high winds, and the extent of repairs required. The decision to turn off the power, and the speed at which it is restored, is planned and managed solely by PG&E.

More Power Shut Offs Expected This Week: PG&E notified City officials this afternoon that it anticipates another round of power shutdowns starting Tuesday (October 29) at 4:30 am and concluding at approximately 12 pm on Wednesday (October 30).

As of 7:15 pm tonight, wind speeds are reported to still be in the range of 18mph in the higher elevations of of Oakland with gusts up to 44 mph. Dispatchers from the Police, Fire and Public Works departments are working in partnership to respond to reports of downed power lines and fallen trees.

  • City dispatchers have received more than 100 tree related calls, 30 of which included damage to power lines.
  • Approximately 8 major signalized intersections remain without power. Temporary stop signs have been installed. They should be treated as an all-way stop.

Oakland has experienced no fire incidents related to the extreme weather or downed power lines. Oakland Police has additional units patrolling, and Oakland Fire stations in the hills continue to conduct roving patrols. No crimes or vehicle collisions have been reported in connection with the power shutoff or subsequent outages that may have occurred due to fallen trees and power lines.

As they’ve done since this event began, police officers, fire and staff from the Department of Transportation are deploying additional neighborhood patrols and are relaying information to dispatch regarding streetlight outages and other impacts. Engineers are being deployed to locations to assess the infrastructure issues and provide traffic safety support at key intersections where signals are out. Additionally, the City has two tree crews, one sewer crew, two parks crews and two crews from Keep Oakland Clean and Beautiful presently out in the field responding to calls for service. If individuals come across downed power lines, they should presume they are live wires, and are asked to call 9-1-1.

The City's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains fully staffed 24 hours a day to monitor weather and incidents on the ground in Oakland and ongoing events throughout the region. We strongly encourage residents to call 311 immediately (NOT 911) to report any maintenance issues such as a fallen tree or blocked roadways. Please continue to visit Oaklandca.gov/firesafety for updates.

City Facility and Program Impacts

At this time, all City departments are prepared to conduct business as usual, with no interruption on Monday, October 28. If City facilities lose power, they may be forced to close some buildings and redeploy staff to assist with the emergency situation.

Park Closures & Restrictions

  • Joaquin Miller Park is closed to the public on Red Flag days. Signs will be posted at all park entrances and trails regarding the closure.
  • Barbeques and fires are prohibited in all City parks on Red Flag days.

Recreation Center Closures

No closures planned at this time.

Head Start Locations

No closures planned at this time.

Seniors Centers

No closures planned at this time.

Public Libraries

  • The Montclair Branch is closed due to PSPS.

Oakland Unified School District Closures

  • Carl Munck Elementary
  • Chabot Elementary
  • Community Day
  • Grass Valley Elementary
  • Hillcrest Elementary
  • Joaquin Miller Elementary
  • Kaiser Elementary
  • Montclair Elementary
  • Montera Middle
  • Redwood Heights Elementary
  • Rudsdale High School
  • Skyline High School
  • Sojourner Truth Elementary
  • Thornhill Elementary

Key Phone Numbers for Assistance

• Only call 911 for life-threatening situations requiring immediate attention

• Call 311 or (510) 615-5566 for City maintenance issues such as a fallen tree or blocked street

• Call 211 for critical human services information regarding emergency shelters, disaster relief services, assistance with temporary housing, and other basic social needs.

Please check www.oaklandca.gov/firesafety for ongoing updates.

Updated Sunday, October 27, 1:00 p.m.

As of 11:30 a.m., PG&E has reported no major changes to the number of customers impacted by the public safety power shut down (PSPS). 56,700 customers in Alameda County are without power, including 22,557 customers in Oakland, affecting an estimated 67,671 Oaklanders. PG&E has not yet confirmed to the City that the power shut-offs are completed.

Currently, wind speeds are reported to be up to 50 mph in parts of North Oakland, and a spike in the number of downed trees and powerlines being reported. No fires reported in Oakland. Oakland Police has additional units patrolling the hills, and Oakland Fire stations in the hills continue to conduct roving patrols.

The City's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains fully staffed 24 hours a day to monitor weather and incidents on the ground in Oakland and ongoing events throughout the region. We strongly encourage residents to call 311 immediately (NOT 911) to report any maintenance issues such as a fallen tree or blocked roadways.

Updated Sunday, October 27, 5:10 a.m.

As of 3:30 a.m., PG&E reported that 56,700 customers in Alameda County are without power, including 22,557 customers in Oakland, affecting an estimated 67,671 Oaklanders. PG&E has not yet confirmed to the City that the power shut-offs are completed.

Oakland police and fire dispatchers reported no unusual activity overnight, and there were no fires reported in Oakland. Although the main period of fire risk continues through early Monday morning, because of the widespread nature of the shutoff and the potential damage to the system from high winds, the power shutoff could last several days. PG&E will restore power once it has inspected the lines for safety and made any necessary repairs, which could account for the delay in re-energizing the lines. The decision to turn off the power, and the speed at which it is restored, is planned and managed solely by PG&E.

Oaklanders are advised to remain alert and continue taking fire safety precautions, such as using flashlights and other battery-powered lights rather than candles, parking personal vehicles off-street to keep narrow roads clear for emergency vehicles, and subscribing to ACAlert.org for alerts and updates via text message, phone calls, or email.

PG&E has opened Community Resource Centers in the counties being affected by the shutdown. The centers will remain open during daylight hours only. Restrooms, bottled water, electronic-device charging and air-conditioned seating for up to 100 individuals will be available at the facilities. The resource center for Alameda County is at Merritt College in Oakland, located at 12500 Campus Dr., Oakland, CA 94619. It will be open today from 8am to 8pm.

Key Phone Numbers for Assistance

· Only call 911 for life-threatening situations requiring immediate attention

· Call 311 for City maintenance issues such as a fallen tree or blocked street

· Call 211 for critical information regarding emergency shelters, disaster relief services, assistance with temporary housing, and other basic social needs.

Updated Saturday, October 26, 10:08 p.m.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company informed the City at 9:45pm that deenergization has begun in Oakland, currently affecting 2000+ customers, and expected to increase over the next two hours. The City will announce when PG&E confirms the deenergization is complete.

Updated Saturday, October 26, 1:17 p.m.

Read the updated press release.

PG&E to Open Community Resource Centers

PG&E have opened Community Resource Centers in the counties being affected by the shutdown. The centers will remain open during daylight hours only. Restrooms, bottled water, electronic-device charging and air-conditioned seating for up to 100 will be available at the facilities.

The resource center for Alameda County is at Merritt College in Oakland, located at 12500 Campus Dr., Oakland, CA 94619.

Park Closures

Joaquin Miller Park is closed to the public on Red Flag days. Signs will be posted at all park entrances and trails regarding the closure.

Updated Forecast: Red Flag Warning & Wind Advisory

The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for the East Bay hills from 8 pm Saturday through 11 am Monday. Northerly winds will increase tonight and continue to be strong and gusty through Monday morning. Winds of up to 45 to 50 mph are likely. Locally higher gusts of 65 mph are possible on the highest ridges and peaks. These strong winds will create critical fire weather conditions and the potential for downed trees and power lines.

The City of Oakland will continue to update the public through its website (link) as this situation develops.

Update Friday, October 25, 11 a.m.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company will be turning off power for almost 57,000 residents/businesses in Alameda County on Saturday, October 26 at about 5 pm. Power is expected to be off for more than 48 hours.

Media Contact

Karen Boyd
Citywide Communications Director
(510) 449-4401
KBoyd@oaklandca.gov