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Power restored in Sonoma Co., thousands elsewhere wait

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PG&E customers in Sonoma County have had their power fully restored as of 3:45 a.m. Tuesday after being affected by the power shutoff that started Sunday night, according to PG&E officials.

Officials said that as of early Tuesday morning that 20,278 across Northern California were still without power, with 2,048 customers in Napa County and 2,409 in Lake County still powerless.

The county with the most PG&E customers without power is El Dorado with 7,069. Amador has 5,617 without power and Calaveras 3,135.

Power was turned off to tens of thousands on Sunday night due to high wind and fire risks in Northern California, according to PG&E officials.

PG&E spokesman Jason King said power has been restored to 38,000 of the 59,000 customers who were affected and remaining customers who are still without power should have it restored sometime Tuesday. He couldn’t confirm an estimated time for when all of the outages would be resolved.

Improved weather conditions Monday morning allowed PG&E crews to patrol and inspect power lines by helicopter, vehicle and on foot to identify any damage that occurred overnight, utility spokeswoman Melissa Subbotin said Monday.

PG&E notified 97,000 customers of the possibility that power would be turned off, but conditions did not require them all, Subbotin said.

Portions of the North Bay experienced wind speeds of over 60 mph and gusts of up to 70 mph, Subbotin said. PG&E officials said the Kirkwood area in the Sierra Nevada mountain range recorded 96 mph winds with 121 mph gusts.

PG&E’s 24/7 Wildfire Safety Operations Center and in-house meteorologists monitored the weather for several days before the decision to cut power was made.

The outage closed some school closures in Calistoga and other parts of the fire-risk areas.

Cal Fire announced in June that PG&E’s equipment led to many of the October fires in Northern California a year ago.

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