PGE’s plan to cut off power to Manteca and other cities that get their electricity from a substation near Tracy if conditions arise where they need to prevent their equipment from sparking destructive wildfires is prompting City of Manteca officials to warn its 83,750 residents to be prepared for going between two and five days without power.
The framework of a municipal emergency plan is being presented Tuesday when the Manteca City Council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St. PG&E will have a representative present as well to explain why they may cut power and what to expect.
The No. 1 point Manteca officials are trying to drive home is simple — residents should be prepared to be self-sufficient in the event of a power shutoff that will last from two to five days.
Expanding on that point the city is making it clear they will not provide food of bottled water in the event of a power shutoff. At the same time a power shutoff would mean most schools and businesses will be closed. At the same time gas stations will be non-functional.
The de-energizing of the transmission line would blackout not just Manteca but Tracy, Lathrop, Stockton, Escalon, Oakdale, and most of Ripon as well as other communities. Modesto Irrigation District, that delivers power to Modesto and parts of Ripon might not be impacted. At any case people in Manteca and nearby communities may not have close options for securing food and water or gasoline.
The emergency situation created by PG&E is not the city’s doing. Instead they are making sure public health and safety issues are addressed.
The city has indicated that you can expect:
Traffic lights and street lights will not be working.
Most schools and businesses will be closed.
Due to increased call volume emergency services will have longer response times.
Water and sewer services will be functional but at a reduced level. Citizens will be asked to refrain from non-essential water use.
Extended outages may affect cell phones.
Citizens with critical medical or health issues will be directed to a designated shelter site.
Citizens can expect essential services such as Fire Department, Police Department, and Public Works to continue operating with as little disruption as possible.
The Manteca Senior Center is a designated shelter site. Efforts are currently underway to update the facility’s emergency power source.
Manteca has a dedicated Emergency Operations Center. When activated it is capable of managing large scale disasters such as prolonged power shortages.
Public safety and sanitary utility services will be a top priority.
Staff is assessing private contracts for generators and diesel delivery for city facilities.
When notified of an impending PG&E power shutoff the city will notify citizens on social media and Nixel.
All essential city employees and all firefighters and police officers will be called back to work.
Generators will be set up at the Manteca Senior Center to charge essential life safety electronics.
The need to impose curfews will be evaluated.
Mutual aid from unaffected areas will be utilized.
Outages in larger regional areas will increasingly strain city resources.
The city has requested PG&E conduct an open house in Manteca to address citizen concerns.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com