About 40,000 Pacific gas and electric customers were without electricity on Thursday and will not be back until Friday. About 5,000,000 people could lose more power later Thursday, PG&E spokesman Danny Boyles told CNN.
The Public Safety Power Shutdown or PSPS spans 24 counties in Northern California.
PG&E initially estimated. 53,000 customers will lose power in the latest shutdown.
The first phase, which began at 6 p.m. Wednesday, will affect approximately 33,000 customers in the Northern Sierra Futils and North Bay mountains, affecting Butt, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Plumus, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Yolo and Yuba counties. PG & EA said in a news release on Wednesday.
The second phase was scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday, affecting approximately 19,000 customers in parts of the Sierra Futils, Bay Area and Santa Cruz mountain counties, including Almeida, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Monterrey, Nevada. , San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sierra Counties.
The third phase, starting Thursday, will affect about 700 customers in parts of Amador, Calaveras, Humboldt and Trinity County.
PG&E expects all affected customers to have their power restored by Friday night.
PG&E officials said during a news conference that the event affected fewer customers than previous similar events, covering most of the counties.
“We understand that the power shuttles are more than an inconvenience to our customers and we did not live up to their expectations when it came to approaching this event.”
“It’s important to remember that the sole purpose of these power shuttles is to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires in the communities we serve.”
Cherry Mossberg of CNN contributed to this report.