PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — The powerful winds across Northern California triggered Pacific Gas & Electric power shutoffs in parts of 34 counties.
PG&E is anticipating the most extreme weather with hurricane style winds, and the largest shutoff of the year.
In Placerville, some neighbors are experiencing their third Public Safety Power Shutoff in two months.
Neighbors who live around Main Street, Placerville are bracing for another few days of being in the dark. The coffee shops and strip malls are closed, but for some, keeping power on is a matter of life or death.
“It’s hard enough keeping him alive at home, but when this happens our pocketbook is just shredded, just shredded,” said Ann Martin.
She’s facing her third power shut off in mere months. She says her son needs 24/7 oxygen to survive. And like many, she’s spent thousands of dollars on a generator and propane.
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“When we don’t have wind it’s very frustrating,” she said.
The wind event blew Kevin Barnes around, from Placerville to Sacramento, just so he can work.
“I have to work 10 to 12 hours a day sometimes, so I got a hotel in Sacramento for cheap, and just stayed there to have a reliable internet,” he said.
He’s layered up to work outside. Barnes’s family bought a generator this summer, but it’s one he says is not always reliable. This third shutoff is literally driving him out of town and expediting his move to Sacramento where he says wifi is a-plenty.
“Given there’s three days without power, I had to expedite that,” he said.
No wifi means no school for two El Dorado High school students. The shutoffs closed down the entire Placerville Union School District for remote learning.
“Every day we don’t have school because of PG&E or snow we have to make up that day, so it goes into our summer,” said Charla Russell.
And for those who don’t have a generator, they’re feeling the outage fatigue and dreading at least another few cold nights.
Wind gusts in Placerville were only between 10 to 15 miles per hour Monday. PG&E says Main Street businesses should have their lights back on by Monday night.