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Sonoma County News

Fire Weather Watch

After staving off the dangerous fire conditions over the weekend, we go back into a wildfire weather watch again starting tonight. The National Weather Service issued the watch from forecasts of dry conditions and gusty offshore winds over higher peaks and ridges, from the western edge of the Northbay to the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevade foothills. (photo courtesy sonoma county fd)


New Testing Site

There's a new coronavirus testing site in Sonoma County. Health Officials have replaced the Petaluma site with a new one in Windsor at the Bluebird Community Center. You will still need an appointment to get a swab test there, or at the Santa Rosa site at the Jockey Club next to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. You can make and appointment, and get additional information, by visiting the website, socoemergency.org. (photo courtesy PBS)


Power Restoration Today

PG&E has started the inspection phase of the Public Safety Power Shut Off's. 1000 employees are walking, driving, or flying, inspecting power equipment for damage, making repairs, and getting systems ready to re-energize. Last night, gusty winds pushed air from the North East across hot land, drying out vegetation and creating more of a fire hazard. For today, the Community Resource Centers are open again from 8am - 10pm at the Cloverdale Citrus Farigrounds, Santa Rosa Vets, and in Sonoma at Hanna Boys Center, and First Congregational Church. (photo courtesy Sierra News Online)


Federal Wildfire Funding Rejected

The Federal Government has rejected California's request for financial help with a series of wildfires that began in early August, including the Creek Fire East of Fresno, and Fires in Southern California. California officials will appeal the decision and believe they have a strong case. Locally, an increase in federal money will pick up 100% of the cost of debris removal for the LNU Lightning Comples Fire. (photo courtesy SF Chronicle)


Small Business Grant Deadline Soon

Businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic can now apply for the Sonoma County Small Business Stablization Grant Program, but the deadline to apply is this Sunday the 18th. Local businesses with between 1 and 30 employees can apply for grants of $2,500 to $15,000 in COVID-19 Relief funding to use towards expenses including payroll, utilities, rent, or mortgage expenses. (photo courtesy The Financial Deals)


Playgrounds Reopened, With Restrictions

All City of Santa Rosa playgrounds are now reopened, with children and adults required to follow COVID-19 restrictions and precautions. Playtimes will be limited to 30 minutes, with social distancing from others. And, don't bring a picnic. Eating and drinking will not be allowed to ensure face masks are worn at all times. (photo courtesy City of Santa Rosa)


Power Outrages

Public Safety Power Shutoffs are happening for around 53,000 PG&E customers across 24 counties, because of the two overlapping wind events that create a risk of wildfire due to damage to their equipment that could spark a fire. In Sonoma County the approximately 1800 customers lost power between 6 - 8pm last night, and it will remain off until sometime tomorrow. The Areas affected are in East Santa Rosa to Sonoma along Hwy 12, and near the Napa county Line. PG&E has set up Community Resource Centers at 4 Sonoma County locations; the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds, The Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma, and the First Congregational Church in Sonoma. They will open 8am - 10pm today and tomorrow. More information at pge.com/psps (photo courtesy PG&E)


FEMA Debris

FEMA will cover 100 percent of the cost share for debris removal from the LNU Lightning Complex Fires. Congressman Mike Thompson announced the increase from the usual 75% oc cost share for declared disasters. Thompson had previously requested additional Federal assistance for these fires, which started on August 14 and burned more than 1.6 million acres (photo courtesy wikipedia)


Earthquake Drill Today

Today, Californians are encouraged to participate in the Great California Shake Out, to practice what to do when an earthquake occurs. At 10:15 this morning, you can simulate an earthquake, and go through the drill, STOP, COVER, HOLD ON. The California Earthquake Authority urges homeowners to inspect for ways to make homes more seismic safe, and to prepare an emergency kit. (photo courtesy Triple M)


Possible PG&E Shut Offs

PG&E has notified customers in targeted portions of 21 counties, including Sonoma County, about a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) as early as tomorrow afternoon. Hot and dry conditions combined with expected high wind gusts pose an increased risk for damage to the electric system that has the potential to ignite fires in areas with dry vegetation. PG&E will then inspect the de-energized lines to ensure they were not damaged during the wind event, and then safely restore power as quickly as possible (photo courtesy Bloomberg)


Glass Fire Update 10/13

The Glass Fire is getting down to the end of operations by firefighters, with 96% containment, though there are over 200 personnel on the line taking care of areas that are still smoldering and burning. There are 10 engines, 7 water tenders, 1 helicopter, 2 hand crews and 10 dozers on the job. There are still several road closures in and around the burn areas due to emergency personnel, or because of damage to roads or trees that need to be cleared. (photo courtesy SF Chronicle)


Congressman Thompson Town Hall Meeting

Congressman Mike Thompson will be holding a virtual Town Hall meeting Tonight from 7-8pm, discussing election security. The online meeting will be available on Zoom, and on Thompson's Facebook page; repmikethompson (photo courtesy Mike Thompson)


Petaluma River Dredging

The Petaluma River dredging project is finishing up this week. It started on Labor Day weekend, after not being dredged in 18 years, due to a lack of funding. In February of this year, $9.7 million in long-awaited federal funding was allocated for river maintenance. More than 150,000 cubic yards of mud and silt will have been removed before the project ends. Today at noon there will be a ceremony to commemorate the project. (photo courtesy Petaluma Argus-Courier)


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