PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — As PG&E prepares for another power shutoff, set to kick in on Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of people remained in the dark.
On Monday, the utility giant said restoration will continue in stages depending on inspections and any repairs needed. Meanwhile, PG&E confirmed that it will shut off power for up to 605,000 customers in portions of 29 counties.
“It’s been really hard,” said Julie Baker.
Baker and Victor Sifuentes have been left in the dark, under candlelight for three days. The couple was hopeful they’d finally get their lights back on as PG&E worked to restore power after this weekend’s outage. But no such luck.
“They were saying if we didn’t get power today, we may not have power until Monday,” said Baker.
Now, this Placerville couple on Wilste Road is being hit with another power shutoff with no break in between. PG&E says some customers could experience continuous blackouts.
“I know it’s gonna be a long time. But they should have some kind of help out there for us,” said Baker.
“We can manage cause it’s just ourselves, but there are elderly people in really tough places,” said Sifuentes.
For them, no electricity means refrigerated food is spoiled and there’s no heat.
“We have portable heaters. But we can’t plug them in, because there’s power. We stay warm with blankets, sweaters, and each other,” said Baker.
Meanwhile, a few minutes away, Dawn Hodson sits next to her fireplace with the lights back on, at least for now.
”Whether it’s water, heat or light when those things are taken away from you, you realize how dependent you are on them,” said Hodson.
Hodson isn’t sure if she’s part of the next round of shutoffs, because she’s had trouble getting notifications.
”They’ll send a phone message, cause they’re obliged to let you know, but my Comcast is down. So there’s no way I can get information,” said Hodson.
While frustration and anxiety build, many in Placerville are concerned about their more vulnerable neighbors.
“Those that have medical needs, it becomes a more deadly situation,” said Hodson.
The wind event is set to start Tuesday morning and last through mid-day Wednesday. For customers who are restored right now in between events, PG&E urges everyone to use this time to charge any medical equipment, phones, and to restock emergency kits.