San Jose Mayor Warns Of 7 Days Without Power From PG&E

power pole
Photo credit Getty Images
SAN JOSE — PG&E has notified 30 California counties that the utility may turn off electricity to lower the danger of wildfires as dry, windy weather conditions stretch across much of the state this week. 

Seven of the nine Bay Area counties are on that list of counties. Only San Francisco County and Marin County are not under 

In the South Bay, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is sounding the alarm that a shutoff could leave people without electricity for a week. 

"We would encourage residents and businesses to prepare for being without power for as potentially as long as seven days," he said. "We certainly hope this is not going to be a seven day power shut down, but we want everyone to be prepared."

PG&E has said the power could be shut off on Wednesday morning and remain off until Thursday afternoon. 

To prepare for that possibility, Liccardo said that "Our emergency operations center will be activated on Tuesday night."

Residents should have a plan, not only an emergency escape plan, but one that will allow them to manage their lives effectively during a prolonged power shut down, Liccardo said.

Folks are being urged to stock up on ready-to-eat food and water, get a battery-operated radio, and be aware of what's happening around them. 

"Please do check on neighbors and friends, and if you plan on using a generator as a backup power source, please use it safely," Liccardo said, noting reports of improper generator use starting fires during recent power shutoffs. 

PG&E has begun warning the public of possible deliberate power outages when weather conditions make it easy for wildfires to spread. Investigators have blamed the utility's equipment for causing other recent fires

"We had anticipated something like this since June," said Liccardo. "We have been working very actively in the city to prepare for an announcement like this, to ensure we would be ready, recognizing that some of what we need to do to get ready would take years."