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PG&E incorrectly warns Monterey County of possible blackout, officials say

Monterey County emergency officials are trying to correct the record Monday after Northern California utility PG&E erroneously warned residents of possible power outages this week, according to the county.

The county, which includes Salinas and the Big Sur coast, will not be impacted by a second power shutoff this week — despite automated calls that suggested local customers could be, the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services said on its website.

“Many County residents have received automated calls from PG&E regarding a second Public Safety Power Shutoff this week (October 29th),” emergency officials said. “That information was in error.”

“The Monterey County Office of Emergency Services has confirmed that Monterey County WILL NOT be impacted by the next shutoff,” officials said.

Power was shut off in parts of the county over the weekend, emergency officials said on Facebook, as dry conditions and gusty winds heightened wildfire risk in the state.

KSBW reported that “for the weekend’s outages, PG&E began line inspections in Monterey County on Monday at 6 a.m. and re-energization is expected within 24 hours.”

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The utility has warned that some customers might not get their power restored from the weekend shutoffs before power is turned off again as part of the planned Tuesday blackout, which the Sacramento Bee reports “is tentatively scheduled for 8 or 9 a.m. Tuesday and is expected to last through mid-day Wednesday across 35 counties.”

PG&E said Sunday that it issued early warnings to half a million homes and businesses that face another outage this week, according to the Bee.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.
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