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PG & E disables 450,000 people in Northern California

About 450,000 people were out of power on Wednesday at 7 am when dry weather and strong winds rolled through Northern California, increasing the risk of fire.

The number of affected customers was halved compared to Pacific Gas & Electric's original estimates, affecting 18 counties. The closures should begin with Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano and parts of the counties Sonoma and Yolo, so the supply giant (including the counties of Butte and Plumas) may come to 16:00 clock shutdowns.

Customers can find out when to expect a power outage on the PG & E website. The energy company expects to restore the electricity on Thursday.

PG & E continues to be criticized for its widespread preventive power outages. California Governor Gavin Newsom has threatened to turn the utility company into a customer-owned cooperative operated by state and local governments. In the meantime, the California Public Utilities Commission has initiated a formal investigation into the closures.

However, this round of public safety barriers is less extensive, also because the weather conditions are not as intense as they were in several shut-off events in October. Andy Vesey, CEO of PG & E, said in a press conference on Tuesday evening that the energy supplier's goal is to further reduce the level of shutdowns.

"We are making this pledge very public so we will not be able to do it next year," Vesey said. "We will be able to protect the public in a way that is not as disruptive as it is today."

Vesey hoped to install additional weather systems for more targeted data and automated power supply switches by the next fire season, which will make the shutdown more efficient, and generators that allow the utility to turn on the light in residential buildings.

It is expected that a red flag warning will be low pressure throughout the region by Thursday morning. The system is sinking into Southern California, bringing the first rain and snow of the season.

Northern California gusts of wind can reach 55 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service, at a humidity level in their teens. Accommodation conditions should not reduce the risk of fire, forecasters said.

PG & E said in a late Tuesday statement that there was more uncertainty about the strength, timing and humidity of this weather system, but the top winds should ease on Thursday morning.

The movement of the same low-pressure system causes the opposite problem in Southern California. Although meteorologists say the risk is low, rain in recently burned areas always carries the risk of mudslides.

In the mountains, on the coast and in the valleys of San Diego County as well as in large parts of the Inland Empire, there are flash flood watches, informed the weather service.

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