“It's uncertain and I think all we can do is give a best guess. This has never happened before and so we haven't had to think in these terms," said Wara, director of the Climate and Energy Policy Program at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment.
“[The] Loma Prieta [earthquake] blacked out more customers but for a much shorter interval of time, a couple of days. And that's the only really comparable event that I can find in historical record,” he added. The current PG&E power shutoffs could last multiple days.
Wara’s house in Mill Valley lost power at 2 a.m. Wednesday. He said it’s been “totally disruptive” for his family, and he thought PG&E was “doing a lot of learning right now about how to do this better the next time.”
“They're really just doing the kinds of things to their system that are going to give them the real-time information about whether that will allow them to be more kind of surgical,” he said.