Expect Low Flying Helicopters Between Fortuna and Arcata Tomorrow and Friday
Press release from PG&E:
Tomorrow and Friday, April 27 and 28, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will conduct routine low-level helicopter patrols to inspect gas transmission lines in Humboldt County. A helicopter from Red Bluff will fly between 300 and 500 feet over Fortuna, Eureka and Arcata.
PG&E patrols remote gas lines, which are often located in rural areas, by helicopter as part of its continuing effort to ensure the safety and reliability of its natural gas system. If issues are identified, it is possible helicopters may need to fly at a lower altitude for additional inspections.
A spotter in the helicopter uses a GPS-enabled tablet with mapping data to navigate the pipelines and document excavation and construction activity, or other observations that warrant follow-up. Where appropriate, PG&E ground personnel are sent to identified areas to verify that safe digging practices are being followed. This includes confirming any digging has a valid 811 ticket for proper marking of underground utility lines.
April is Safe Digging Month and a good time to remind customers about the risks of not following safe digging practices. In 2016, there were more than 1,700 third-party accidental strikes to PG&E underground utilities, 25 were in PG&E’s Humboldt division.
Accidental strikes cause damage to underground gas, electric and telecommunications infrastructure and are public safety risks. Striking a gas line during excavation can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages to an entire neighborhood. It can be prevented with a free call to 811 or a visit to www.811express.com.
Weather permitting, flights will occur between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. PG&E will fly in a contracted helicopter, likely a Bell 206L3 Long Ranger that is either blue and white or green and white.