Update: Dunsmuir, Castella residents power is restored
8:30 a.m. update: Power is restored
Pacific Power said they restored power to residents in Dunsmuir and Castella by 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning after all lines had been checked for possible obstructions after strong winds on Tuesday.
At the time of de-energization, winds were forecasted to trend upward through the afternoon into the late evening, Pacific Power said in a press release. Wind gusts reached 54 miles per hour on the hills above Dunsmuir with on the ground reports of wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour in Castle Crag State Park and winds in the city gusting up to 31 miles per hour. Humidity dropped to below 15%, Pacific Power noted.
3:45 p.m. update: Power shutoffs have begun
Due to a combination of strong winds and extreme wildfire conditions, Pacific Power officials have decided to proceed with a Public Safety Power Shutoff this afternoon for about 3,000 of its customers in the Dunsmuir and Castella areas.
The shutoff will stay in effect until weather conditions are safe to re-energize the electrical network, Pacific Power said in a press release Tuesday afternoon.
A community resource center will be open until 10 p.m. today and on Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., as necessary, for the following needs:
- Shelter from environment
- Air conditioning
- Potable water
- Seating and tables
- Restroom facilities
- On-site medical support
- Refrigeration for medicine and/or baby needs
- On-site security
- Communications capability such as Wi-Fi access, cellphone, satellite phone, radio, etc.
- Charging stations for cellphones, AM/FM/Weather radios, computers, etc.
Pacific Power urges customers to verify their contact information is up to date. Customers can do this by logging into their online account at pacificpower.net or calling Pacific Power customer care at 1-888-221-7070.
About 2,000 Pacific Power customers in the Dunsmuir and Castella areas may have their electricity turned off today due to an "offshore dry wind event" coupled with extreme fire conditions.
Siskiyou County is at the very north end of the system, explained Drew Hanson, a public safety officer for Pacific Power – hence the location of the Public Safety Power Shutoff watch. Residents should be prepared if conditions warrant the de-energizing of its lines Tuesday evening and into Wednesday, Hanson said.
The 2,053 customers in the potential de-energization area have been notified through phone calls, email and text messages, Hanson said. Customers will continue to receive notifications if the PSPS is necessary or if the watch is canceled.
A community resource center will open at 3 p.m., today at the Dunsmuir Community Center, 4841 Dunsmuir Ave. for those who need to charge devices, cool down or refrigerate medications.
Pacific Power has already sent additional line workers to the area, who are inspecting power lines, as well as helicopter patrols. If they see anything that could directly impact the system, the controlled outage would be activated, said Hanson. Line crews would continue to patrol the area and verify there are no obstructions after the wind event before the power is restored.
Customers are encouraged to be prepared and have an outage kit ready, containing the following:
- Water – one gallon per person per day
- Non-perishable food (for family members and pets)
- Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit with essential medications
- Manual can opener
- Solar powered cell phone charger
- Copies of important family documents
- Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members
Visit pacificpower.net/psps for additional information on Public Safety Power Shutoffs, wildfire safety and emergency preparedness.
Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation, lifelong Siskiyou County resident.