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Storms Are Coming, Who to Call?

Power outages may occur, so make sure your family is prepared.

PG&E is preparing for strong winds that are expected to hit the Bay Area over the next two days.         

The utility is anticipating some power outages if the wind storm produces the 60 mph gusts that weather forecasters are predicting, PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian said this morning.         

The National Weather Service has issued a high-wind warning for the Bay Area that will be in effect for Wednesday and Thursday as a dry weather system moves through the region, weather service forecaster Duane Dykema said.         

"It's not really what most people would consider a 'storm,'" Dykema said this morning.         

He said rain is not expected but that gusts of 60 to 70 mph are anticipated at higher elevations, with gusts of 40 to 45 mph in lower-lying areas, Dykema said.         

"It's going to be really blustery almost everywhere," he said.         Sarkissian said PG&E spends more than $180 million annually to inspect more than 130,000 miles of power lines in its service area from Eureka to Bakersfield to make sure they are safe.         

Although the utility focuses in particular on trimming unhealthy tree limbs that overhang power lines, it also monitors healthy limbs that pose a threat, she said.         

Of the power outages in PG&E's service area, 13 percent are caused by tree limbs that fall onto power lines. Of those, 90 percent are caused by healthy tree branches, she said.         

Customers reporting power outages can call PG&E at (800) 743-5002.         

People who encounter a downed power line should assume it is live, keep a safe distance away, and call 911 and PG&E, Sarkissian said.

Redwood City’s Emergency Services Plan also delineates which department is responsible for specific emergencies.

The , , and are responsible for Direct Intervention in the event of a large-scale emergency, according to the city’s website. During a disaster they are on the “front lines” to maintain public safety and provide infrastructure repair.

The fire department is responsible for fire prevention and suppression, medical response, and property protection. If someone is injured from the severe weather conditions, call 911. For less severe incidents, the fire department can be reached at 650-780-7400.

The police department covers public safety and crime prevention, traffic control, and evacuation. For example, if someone is trapped in a home or there is a street pile-up outside your home, call 911. For traffic complaints, call 650- 780-7146. The Police Department's regular line is 650-780-7100 and 650-780-7190 after hours.

Public Works maintains infrastructure support and ensures reinstatement of services. If there is no electricity at your home, call 650-780-7464, Monday - Friday, 7:30 am - 4:30 pm or 650-780-7190 after hours and be prepared to provide:

  1. A description of the problem,

  2. The location of the problem,

  3. Your name and phone number.

--Bay City News, Stacie Chan contributed to this article.

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