A series of storms is expected to bring heavy rain, heavy mountain snow and breezy winds to most of Northern California starting Friday and continuing through the weekend. The combined impact of several days of ground-saturating rain and heavy snow loading could result in trees falling down in some areas, taking down power lines and interrupting electric service. PG&E crews and emergency personnel are standing by and prepared to respond to electric hazards and power outages when and where they occur.
Rocklin’s weekend forecast, according to the National Weather Service, calls for rain through the weekend, with gusts as high as 32 mph on Saturday.
To prepare for storms and minimize tree-related outages, PG&E has an extensive preventive maintenance and tree trimming program. Each year, the utility inspects every mile of electric line in its service area – more than 130,000 miles total – and spends more than $180 million to reduce the hazards of trees and bushes.
PG&E offers these tips to help customers during the storm:
· Customers can call the 24-hour Outage Service Line at (800) 743-5002 to report an outage, to report a hazardous condition or to get the latest information on outages in their community.
· Assume downed power lines are energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move them — and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911 and PG&E at (800) 743-5002.
· Do not use candles because of the risk of fire. If you must use candles, use extreme caution. Do not use candles near drapes, under lampshades or near holiday trees. Keep candles away from small children, and do not leave candles unattended.
· If your power goes out, turn off or unplug all electric appliances; otherwise, several appliances may come back on at once and overload your circuits when power is restored. Hot appliances also pose a fire hazard if they come back on while you’re away or asleep. Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
· Have battery-operated radios with fresh batteries ready for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
· Have battery-operated flashlights with fresh batteries on hand.
· Have a cellphone or hard-wire, single-line telephone on hand. Cordless phones will not work without electricity.
· Fill used liter-size plastic soda bottles with water and place them in the freezer. During an extended outage, transfer them to your refrigerator to prevent food from spoiling. Open the refrigerator only when necessary to keep warm air out and cooler air in.
· If you have a generator, inform PG&E and do not use it unless it is installed safely and properly. If it is not, you risk damaging your property and endangering yourself and PG&E line workers who may be working on nearby power lines. Information on the safe installation of generators can be found at www.pge.com/generator.