PARADISE (CBS13) — The strain of staying Paradise strong is starting to show.
The town of Paradise is under pressure from Camp Fire victims who are frustrated over wildfire settlement payouts and are now threatening Pacific Gas and Electric workers on the job.READ MORE: Stagg High Stabbing Suspect Anthony Gray Ordered To Undergo Mental Evaluation
The mayor is making a passionate plea with the community to stop.
“We just kind of have a boil over of frustration,” said Mayor Steve Crowder.
Crowder said the community’s frustration has turned downright dangerous.
“They’re just running through stop signs. Flaggers are having to jump out of the way of vehicles,” he said. “They’re being yelled at, cursed at, and, you know, I’ve even heard cases where they’ve been threatened with guns.”
PG&E workers are there working on undergrounding 200 miles of overhead electric lines. So far, only 57 miles have been completed.
While PG&E wouldn’t address the harassment, it says it remains committed to helping Paradise recover and rebuild.READ MORE: Boosted Californians Getting COVID At Twice The Rate Of Those Vaccinated But Not Boosted
“If this kind of behavior continues, it’s going to cause a work stoppage and it’s just going to drag out,” Crowder said.
In a fiery Facebook post, Crowder wrote that the misplaced anger is “not acceptable,” noting the real outrage is over the lack of Camp Fire settlement payments, which total $13.5 billion. So far, a trust has only distributed $2 billion.
Crowder maintains that PG&E has no control over how the money is doled out.
“We have people suffering because of it and it needs to be paid off,” he said. “And people need to be able to get on with their lives.”
With much more work ahead, the hope now is that cooler heads will prevail.
“We’re just asking everybody to please take a step back,” Crowder said. “Let everyone do their work. Show them some courtesy and restraint.”
This isn’t the first time PG&E crews have been targeted. Back in 2019, someone shot a PG&E truck on I-5 in Colusa County hours before a power safety shutoff was scheduled. The driver wasn’t hurt, but the windshield was shattered.MORE NEWS: Applications Now Open For $10K Grants For Sacramento Artists
That same year, someone threw eggs at the PG&E office in Oroville forcing it to close.