SANTA ROSA, CA (CBS & WIAT) – Sonoma County and City of Santa Rosa Officials have declared proclamations of local emergency and activated their Emergency Operation Centers in anticipation of a massive plan to shut off the electric power.
The purpose of this plan is to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires during dangerous wind conditions on Wednesday and Thursday.
According to the Pacific Gas and Electric company in California, the power could be cut off by before or around 4 a.m. Wednesday through Thursday afternoon. The massive outage will impact an estimated 250,000 customers in the Bay Area and may not be fully restored for five days.
WATCH: California officials hold a press conference regarding a massive power shut off – tps://www.facebook.com/CBS42News/videos/2438436912938006
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the proclamation of a local emergency shortly after it observed 44 seconds of silence in memory of the 44 people who died in the Sonoma Complex fires that started two years ago.
Board members said the county is much better prepared for wildfires than it was two years ago.
PG & E may cut power this week to up to 30 northern California counties with a history of causing deadly fires.
Portions of counties that may be impacted include: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lake, Mariposa, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba. About 800,000 residents live in those counties.
“It’s wickedly ironic we have a red flag warning and a likely power shutdown now. We are not just Sonoma Strong, we are Sonoma Ready,” Supervisor James Gore said.
Supervisor Susan Gorin, who lost her Sonoma Valley home in the fire, dabbed tears as she said, “This is an emotional day for me.”
Gorin recalled facilities in the Sonoma-area district she represents an opening to accommodate those who fled the fires.
“It was the epitome of the community coming together,” Gorin said.
PG&E also announced that they plan to begin public safety power shutoffs in Napa County beginning early Wednesday morning that may extend five days or longer.
Residents around the Bay Area are nervous about the power shutoffs.
PG&E said they will continue to monitor weather conditions and provide updates to customers.