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PG&E Prepares For Heavy Wind And Rain

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA — PG&E forecasters have issued an advisory to their crews in the Yosemite, Fresno and Kern Divisions that strong winds and heavy rain are likely to occur beginning around midnight tonight and continuing until midday Friday.

This storm has the potential to cause power outages for PG&E customers, particularly in mountain communities. Localized flooding is also possible.

Everyone is advised to use caution when driving during this storm, and never attempt to cross flooded roadways.

PG&E says they are working closely with cities and communities in the area to ensure that they are prepared for the storms impacts.

Customers can prepare for potential outages by fully charging cell phones, and ensuring you have fresh batteries for flashlights or battery-powered lanterns. Never use candles as a lighting source during an outage to protect you and your family from the risk of fires.

Customers can go to www.pge.com/outages to report an outage, view status on an existing outage and subscribe to email, voice or text messaging updates.

“Our storm outage prediction model (SOPP) is an effective tool to help us anticipate power outages before they happen, which allows us to prepare and respond more efficiently,” says PG&E spokesman Denny Boyles. “The tool utilizes a wealth of data sources to provide estimates on the potential timing, location and number of outages that we expect to see during a storm event.”

PG&E developed SOPP to prepare for larger storm events like the Jan. 4, 2008 megastorm, which caused power outages that affected 1.2 million Californians. Because the company experiences many smaller weather events in the winter season that could create above-normal outage activity, SOPP has become a daily operations tool at PG&E.

For hour by hour forecasts and current weather conditions, visit the SNO weather page here.

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Sierra News Online

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