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Power shut off to prevent fires in California

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 10/09/19, 11:51 am

Residents stocked up on water, food, and gasoline ahead of the largest planned blackout in California history. To keep its equipment from starting wildfires, Pacific Gas and Electric shut off power on Wednesday to nearly 800,000 customers in Northern California as hot, windy weather continued in the region. Schools closed, and residents expected delays on the road caused by nonfunctioning traffic lights. The utility could expand the blackout to Southern California.

Why is PG&E turning off the lights? It wants to avoid another disaster like last year’s deadly Camp Fire, which killed 86 people and destroyed most of the town of Paradise, Calif. The utility filed for bankruptcy in January after admitting responsibility in the fire. It could take up to five days to restore power to the area.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Samantha Gobba’s report about how the survivors of the state’s most destructive wildfire rebuilt their lives.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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