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PG&E prepares for more wet weather on the Central Coast

MGN

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Another wet storm is on the way to the Central Coast tonight, and Pacific Gas & Electric is preparing for more possible outages.

Last month's storm caused historic power outages — and although PG&E says they don't expect this storm to affect as many people — they are still stocking up supplies just in case.

"We are not expecting to see the same outage activity that we saw during the last storm, however, it could still be significant," said Mayra Tostado, spokesperson for PG&E.

More than 200 outages were reported across the Central Coast during last month's storm, leaving many without power for days. PG&E says they hadn't seen that much outage activity in the area since 2009.

"As you can imagine, we had a handful of crews in the area, but we had 200 separate outages to respond to. Many of these had very large trees that were down. So before we can go in and start repairing, we have to assess the damage by bringing in tree crews. Then we can start doing the repairs," said Tostado.

PG&E also turned off all Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings (EPSS) circuits on the Central Coast before the last storm. These circuits turn off power during high fire risk. PG&E says they have decided to keep the settings off as moisture content in the vegetation improves.

"We don't expect to have these settings go back on unless there is some significant wildfire risk, if we were to again experience a very dry season, which is not something that is being forecasted right now," said Tostado.

And as temperatures drop, PG&E is also reminding people to check that they are safely heating their homes.

"Every year, we see very tragic situations where people die due to carbon monoxide poisoning," Tostado said. "Check your gas appliances to ensure that they are working properly so you can keep you and your family safe. Also, ensure that you're not using the oven to heat your home. Don't bring generators or barbecues inside the home. Those need to stay outside."

People should also make sure they have carbon monoxide detectors installed, check that they're working and replace batteries if needed.

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Lisa Principi

Lisa Principi is a reporter at KION News Channel 5/46.

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