PG&E website has technical issues as ‘high volume’ of users seek power shutoff updates

The PG&E website has experienced technical issues Tuesday, with the web pages loading slowly or not at all as of 1 p.m.

The problems began hours after the company announced it may cut power to nearly 650,000 Northern California customers in an effort to mitigate wildfire risk, and hours before the utility increased that estimate to 800,00 customers and confirmed that the shutoff will take place.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in a news release Tuesday afternoon says it will implement a public safety power shutoff event starting at about 4 a.m. Wednesday, as the forecast calls for a significant “wind event” in Northern California on Wednesday and Thursday. The shutoff will affect customers in parts of 34 counties.

The company said in a tweet at 10:11 a.m. Tuesday that it was “currently experiencing high volume of traffic to our website & understand your frustration w/ the delay of accessing #PSPS (public safety power shutoff) related web pages.”

Users began noticing pages loading slowly or producing error messages shortly before 10 a.m.

Before the website problems began and before the shutoff event was confirmed, PG&E posted a tentative list of 30 counties, including cities and unincorporated communities within them, that may be partially impacted, noting that more updated information would be available throughout the day Tuesday.

The website has functioned intermittently since 1 p.m., with frequent issues observed.

In the meantime, PG&E has urged customers to enroll in PSPS alerts by zip code by calling 1-877-9000-PGE, or to sign up for text alerts by texting “ENROLL” to 97633.

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.