PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — Businesses big and small are feeling pain in their pockets from the PG&E shutoffs. Now it’s a gamble for some on whether they can keep their doors open.
Inside the Safeway in Cameron Park shoppers tell us it looks like a ghost town.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen that before, and it was quite shocking,” said Lou Settles.
Freezer shelves are empty, spoiled food is piled up in boxes, and shoppers can only buy dry goods.
“My first thought was, ‘hopefully all that food is not going to waste,'” said Settles.
It’s what days without a generator will do to one of the areas biggest stores. Cameron Kammerer is a Meat Cutter for Safeway. He says he was called into work from another store. Kammerer said the generators the store has won’t power up their freezer section and he thinks the loss for this store is big.
“It’s pretty much all hands on deck, we do what we can to save product we can,” Kammerer said.
Outside the store, two trucks were used to haul away all of the spoiled food.
Kammerer said, “At this point, it’s just like hitting a big re-start button and keeping moving forward.”
Down the street, a popular restaurant, Papa Gianni’s is open after it was shut down for a full weekend.
“We saved most of our stuff that we could, but as far as being open for business, there’s just not enough power to do that,” said owner Frank Perri.
He said the lost about $8,000 in business over the weekend. He’s fearful of looters and has someone keeping an eye on the generator at all times.
“People like to do funny things when the power is out,” Perri said.
The power has been out since Saturday at T.W. Bonkers Toy and Candy Store in Placerville. There’s no way to make ice cream or chocolate, but employees are working in the dark anyway.
“If PG&E takes Halloween away from me, I’m going to be mad,” said owner Tom Windle.
He said the shutoffs are hurting his bottom line and he’s getting no answers on how to deal with “the new normal.”
“As much as I want to be Willy Wonka, it’s not happening,” he said.
Windle said leaders have guessed 100 to 200 fewer cars a day are parking on Main Street since the shutoffs.