EL DORADO HILLS (CBS13) – Ashley Becker is one of the thousands of Pacific Gas and Electric customers on edge, waiting for the lights to potentially go out again.
A potential public safety power shutoff from PG&E is on the horizon.
Becker got an alert that her family may be a part of the roughly 103,000 customers impacted with the shutoff with nearly 25,000 of them in El Dorado county.
“It’s a complicated situation. You want everyone to be safe. You don’t want more fires. But of course, it’s an inconvenience for your family,” Becker said.
The utility says it sent these alerts 48 and 24 hours before the potential shutoffs on Monday due to winds that are expected to roll through into mid-day Wednesday.
“We have worked again the last year to enhance the PSPS program for our customers and it will be short, smaller and smarter, and one of those things is shorter. We expect to restore customers twice as fast,” Katie Allen, a PG&E spokesperson, said.
While speed may be a focus for the utility, there are other concerns for customers.
Being in the middle of the pandemic and more high heat in the coming days, all without power.
“Having a family and we do live in an apartment at this point and time, it’s really, really difficult. It’s hot. There’s not a lot of places to go,” Becker said. “So, again, it is what it is.”
This is also the mindset of others who are prepared from previous power shutoffs and rotating power outages.
“Well, I wouldn’t enjoy it. But, I’d have to deal with it. I’d be okay with it,” Martin Pastula, an El Dorado County resident, said.
“As long as they give us notice, I mean that gives us time to get dry goods and whatnot,” Tiffany Plotts, another El Dorado County resident, said.
Now, as many are asked to work from home, a new challenge is presented to them during this pandemic, a public safety power shutoff.
PG&E’s website states the company understands the importance of having power during the pandemic while they use the shutoffs to prevent wildfires.
The utility’s advanced notification system first gives 48-hour notices of a shutoff, then another a day out, another just before the power goes out, one during the outage and one more when power is back online.