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PG&E Crews Begin Power Restoration As Winds Die Down

About half of the PG&E customers who had their power turned off during the public safety power shutoff have had their service restored. The company said Thursday night that 426,000 of the 738,000 affected customers have electricity again. That leaves another 312,000 who are still in the dark. The shutoff began early Wednesday under a forecast of red flag fire danger conditions, and gusts were recorded at up to 70 miles an hour in some areas of the vast PG&E service region. On Thursday afternoon those conditions improved and crews were given the all-clear to patrol, inspect and restore. Those inspections can only be done in daylight hours, and at daybreak Friday 6,300 field personnel hit the ground and take to the air with 44 helicopters available for the restoration process. As of Thursday night 11 instances of weather-related damage had been found in the blackout area, and repairs are underway.