Update from Kate - I Hear You! Here's More on the Impacts of Power Shutoff Across Southern Marin

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Update from Kate


Impacts of Power Shutoff Felt Across Southern Marin

 Answers to Common Questions & A Status Update


I have been receiving numerous phone calls, emails, and social media inquiries about the impacts of the power shutoff in Southern Marin. I want you to know that I hear you. Residents of Mill Valley, Tam Valley, Marin City, and Sausalito are all affected by the power shutoff, including me and my Aide Maureen Parton. We truly do share your pain. Here are some of the common questions and concerns you have shared with my office in the past few days:

  • Why are some neighborhoods without power, while others remain unimpacted?
  • The power was turned off well in advance of the predicted high winds. Why?
  • Where are the high winds that were forecasted, and why doesn’t PG&E just turn the power back on now?
  • What are our elected officials doing to hold PG&E accountable and get our electricity turned back on?
  • This is foreshadowing for when we have a real emergency, like an earthquake. What is being done to prepare for the real thing?

Here are my thoughts on the above:

  • Loss of electricity has unexpected and wide-ranging impacts: loss of perishable foods; loss of income for those who work from home; students unable to access the internet to complete their homework; inability to keep live-saving medical equipment plugged in or charge electronic devices and EVs. The list is long and all of it is challenging and aggravating.
  • There are a lot of great questions about how PG&E decides to initiate a power shutoff, where, and when. Some of these questions can be answered on this page of their website: https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/public-safety-power-shutoff-faq.page. If you scroll down you’ll see Q&A that covers the factors they consider prior to initiating a power shutoff and why some areas are impacted versus others. Some of the information is helpful, but there is definitely a need for more transparency and communication.
  • The County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staff are in regular communication with PG&E and have been pushing them to restore power as soon as possible. We have received word that PG&E has sent a team to our area this afternoon to begin visual inspections of the impacted power lines. PG&E has said publicly that this process must be done in order to ensure that the lines are unobstructed and safe to re-energize – and that this process can take several days depending on conditions and the number of power lines that need to be inspected.
  • The EOC was able to convince PG&E to set up an emergency resource center in Marin City. The EOC has also been working with locations across Southern Marin to set up emergency charging stations (see list below), and is reaching out to our medically-fragile community members to make sure they have the resources they need.
  • I will continue to communicate with EOC staff, and as they receive updates from PG&E, I will continue to share information with you. Given that we don't know when power will be fully restored, I urge everyone to make sure they have several days’ worth of supplies and to remain connected with city, town, and county resources as well as the local news and PG&E for updates on when we can expect the power to be restored. I also encourage you to connect with the following County entities for regular updates about charging centers, water conservation per MMWD, food safety tips, and re-energization safety tips: County of Marin, Marin County Sheriff's Office, and Marin County Fire Department.

This event is opening all of our eyes to what needs to be done in preparation for a major emergency in the future, whether it be fire, flood, or earthquake. There are and will continue to be debriefs, info-sharing, and lessons learned – now and for months to come. Please take this opportunity to prepare yourself, your family and friends, and your community. We are stronger when we plan, prepare, and connect with each other. For more resources on emergency preparedness, please visit Ready Marin.

One final request: these emails and my Facebook posts reach just a small number of our Southern Marin residents. If you can please share this message with your neighbors and encourage them to sign up for newsletters and follow me on Facebook, I can help spread the word about 1) what is happening in our communities, and 2) what I am doing to respond to the issues. Here are some quick links that you can use:


Charging Stations in Southern Marin

  • Marin City Senior Center 640 Drake Ave, Sausalito
  • Marin County Sheriff’s Office Substation 850 Drake Avenue, Marin City
  • Gateway Shopping Center (near former Outback location) 150 Donahue, Marin City
  • Mill Valley Community Center 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley
  • Sausalito Public Library, Sausalito City Hall and Sausalito Parks & Recreation Office 420 LithoStreet, Sausalito
  • Tamalpais Valley Community Services 305 Bell Lane, Mill Valley
  • Strawberry Recreation Center 118 E. Strawberry Drive, Strawberry