PG&E braces for weekend storm, some Bay Area holiday events canceled

PG&E braces for weekend storm, some Bay Area holiday events canceled

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — The Bay Area is bracing for the storm, preparing for an atmospheric river event this weekend. Utilities crews are ready and some events may be cancelled.

TIMELINE: Heavy rain in the Bay Area this weekend, massive snow dump in Tahoe

PG&E crews in Santa Rosa were doing last minute repairs to power lines ahead of this weekend’s storm. The utility has stocked extra transformers and other equipment just in case.

“We are opening emergency centers, bringing in additional crews from outside the area to help support the event,” said Ron Richardson, PGVice President of North Coast &E.

Richardson is concerned about the storm causing high winds and power outages.

LIVE: Follow real-time weather conditions in the Bay Area

“We’re expecting 50mph winds, haven’t seen those winds in a while, expecting blackouts and three inches of rain,” Richardson said.

PG&E asks customers to be prepared for possible outages by having flashlights and batteries ready and by having cell phones fully charged.

In Santa Rosa, rehearsals were happening for the Friday night Drag on Ice show at Old Courthouse Square.

“We are all praying for good weather tonight,” said Carmen Maria Mitchell.

But just in case, free rain panchos awaited members of the public.

MORE: A major winter storm could make Tahoe travel ‘difficult to impossible’ on Saturday

The Windsor Winter Fair on Saturday was canceled on the town green due to the storm. Broadway on ice was the planned highlight of the fair, but organizers say not to melt the ice just yet.

“We’re pivoting, the show must go on,” Mitchell said.

Carmen Maria Mitchell is the founder of the Redwood Theater Company. The organization’s synthetic ice rink is moved indoors to the Huerta Gym in Windsor.

“We try to do our best and keep the holiday spirit alive,” Mitchell said.

There was a week of preparation for the weekend storm in North Bay. From lowering a rubber dam on the Russian River to prevent flooding downstream, to clearing leaves from storm sewers in Marin County, which could prevent a flood.

VIDEO: PG&E is preparing for possible power outages this weekend

In Marin County, the city of Sausalito is gearing up for a busy social weekend that kicked off with the opening of Candy Cane Lane.

Many shoppers and store owners say they hope the wet weather isn’t as bad as expected.

“Most Sausalitans hide when the rains come, or they come out and play when the sun is up. So right in the middle is the right place for businesses, I think,” said store owner Teri Lang. .

The city is also set to host a 5K on Sunday, as well as its famous parade of illuminated boats on Saturday night.

Both events should occur rain or shine.

Alexandra Cantin was out enjoying Candy Cane Lane on Friday night.

A long-time marine, she was supposed to take part in the boat parade.

But she says unless the sky stays clear, she’ll probably be home.

“Most of the charters have been canceled. I think the powerboats will come out because they’re inside a cabin and they’re a bit safer,” Cantin said.

VIDEO: Small storms still have big impact as California fire season now lasts year-round

At this time of year, at the open-air Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek, the pressure is on to beat the holiday shopping crowds, and this weekend, even the rain.

“Try to beat the rain, beat the crowds. It’s (will be) Saturday, Christmas is coming. Do what you can, do it,” says Livermore resident John Swift, who was on the spot to buy a present for his wife.

“Yeah, no shopping tomorrow. It might get busy, but I just don’t want to walk around in the rain,” said Alamo resident Sandy, who only wanted to be identified by her first name.

December started with a series of winter storms. This weekend, another storm is expected to dump several rounds of heavy rain in the Bay Area. Far from ending the current drought, the downpour can still make a difference, says Steve Hill of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

MORE: How CA’s investment in wildfire prevention contributed to a less severe fire season

“Our fire season, for better or worse, is very close to year-round now here in Northern California, much of the western United States. So that means we have a bit respite here with these winter months,” says Hill.

He says wildfires are no longer confined to the traditional fire season. Although longer-range forecasts predict another dry winter for much of California, Hill says these small storms are keeping the ground moist, which can help limit the spread of wildfires, even in the warmer months. ‘winter.

“Over the last few weeks we’ve certainly responded to a number of wildfires. They’re going anywhere, really fast anyway, because of the wet conditions we have,” Hill says.

The Bay Area can get between one and two inches of rain this weekend, with minor flooding in some parts. Downed trees and isolated power outages are also possible in areas that receive strong gusts of wind.

VIDEO: What you can do right now to prepare for a PG&E power off

Back at Broadway Plaza, some shoppers say the rain can be an inconvenience, but not a hindrance.

“We will shop in the rain, as we are dedicated shoppers. Absolutely!” laughs Dorene Adams. She was shopping in the square with her daughter.

Fire officials say the much-needed rain brings its own set of challenges. Hill says it’s a reminder to slow down while driving. “Arrive Alive” is one of the slogans they promote.

Hill says with more people staying home, it’s important to keep an eye on candles and the fireplace for fire hazards.

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