All West Contra Costa Unified District (WCCUSD) schools that closed today due to the planned PG&E power shutoff will reopen Friday, as the power was restored earlier than expected, the district announced.
As of 3:45 p.m., the City of Richmond also announced the power was being restored to impacted areas in Richmond.
It spelled the beginning of the end for PG&E’s first Public Safety Power Shutoff event, which aimed to prevent wildfires in the presence of warm dry and particularly windy conditions.
The power shutoff impacted over 700,000 customers in more than 30 counties, with an initial expectation of about 50,000 customers losing power in Contra Costa County.
That prompted WCCUSD to close five schools that lost power: Pinole Valley High, and Ellerhorst, Kensington, Madera, and Olinda elementary schools. Those schools will resume with normal schedules on Friday, the district said.
The power shutoff was controversial. Michael Lewis, senior vice president of Electrical Operations for PG&E, said in a statement it was a difficult choice.
“We faced a choice between hardship or safety, and we chose safety,” he said. “We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and the hardship, but we stand by the decision because the safety of our customers and communities must come first.”