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“This Did Not Go Well” – PG&E’s Rolling Blackout Sparked Chaos In Bay Area

“This Did Not Go Well” – PG&E’s Rolling Blackout Sparked Chaos In Bay Area

Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) historic blackout plunging hundreds of thousands of customers into darkness last week was a massive communication breakdown that sparked criticism over the two-day blackout that was designed to avoid wildfires, reported The New York Times.

PG&E officials said over the weekend that most of the power had been restored to everyone except for 2,500 customers across several Bay Area counties and promised to fix communication channels with customers.

“We’ll get better in the next month and better in the next year,” PG&E CEO Bill Johnson said Saturday.

“Communication to customers, coordination with state agencies, website availability, call center staff, that’s where you will see short-term improvements.”

Last Wednesday, PG&E triggered rolling blackouts for nearly 735,000 homes and or businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area amid the threat of strong winds and dry conditions that would’ve damaged transmission wires and sparked dangerous wildfires, similar to what was seen last year. Most of the residents were restored by Friday afternoon, but 99.5% of its customers saw full power by Saturday. 

PG&E Blackouts Spread Across Northern California

The shutdown caused widespread confusion about the planned power outage, and according to some experts, billions of dollars in economic losses were sustained by local businesses during the two-day blackout.

PG&E’s website and communication network that relayed essential data about the blackouts crashed, leaving many without details about what was happening. 

“There were definitely missteps,” said Elizaveta Malashenko, a spokesperson for the state Public Utilities Commission who was in the PG&E control center. “It’s pretty much safe in saying, this did not go well.”

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