Pacific Gas and Electric Co. crews who have been restoring power in fire ravaged San Diego County since Oct. 26 were heading home yesterday. In response to calls for aid from San Diego Gas and Electric Co. (SDG&E), PG&E sent 92 employees from throughout northern and central California to assist with power restoration efforts.
Working in steep canyons and harsh terrain, experienced and dedicated PG&E crews accomplished difficult work installing steel power poles and hanging electric cable. PG&E crews were expected to stay in San Diego for approximately three weeks, but were ready to return home yesterday after surpassing SDG&E's expectations on when the work would be completed.
PG&E crews were assigned high-priority jobs to rebuild critical electric transmission infrastructure. In the City of Ramona, PG&E restored power to a water treatment plant and re-established the water supply for the town's residents. PG&E also energized Camp Pendleton and an area important to the Border Patrol.
PG&E employees left San Diego County yesterday at 6 a.m. and were returning to Bakersfield, Fresno, Merced, Davis and San Francisco throughout the day.
PG&E is a member of the California Utilities Emergency Association (CUEA), an organization that provides emergency operations support for efficient communications and coordination among government agencies and utilities throughout California. This organization calls on one another to assist in power restoration efforts after major events like hurricanes, winter storms and wildfires.
Last winter PG&E assisted utilities in Oregon and Washington after a vicious winter storm left 1.5 million customers in the region without electricity. In 2004, 24 PG&E crews helped rebuild thousands of power poles in Florida after hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne wreaked havoc on the state. In 2003, PG&E employees helped restore power in Southern California when wildfires destroyed electric lines that year as well.