The Blame Game: Gov. Newsom slams PG&E over ‘unacceptable’ power outages and failure to fix systems || LA Times
“At a news conference Wednesday evening, PG&E officials signaled that these types of massive shut-offs during fire season might be the new normal.
Sumeet Singh, vice president of PG&E’s community wildfire safety program, said customers should anticipate similar shutdowns in the future until the utility has finished its wildfire safety plan, “unless the weather changes significantly and the vegetation condition and the fuel-loading condition, and land and the forest management, changes significantly within the state.”
“We understand that this power shut-off is difficult for our customers and communities. Please check on your neighbors, friends and family and know that we will work safely, and quickly as possible, to restore power across the region,” Singh said.
The power shut-offs have prompted backlash, with some residents saying they create a whole new set of dangers as they try to keep up with news about fires. Critics worry that communications and evacuations will be hampered when the power is out, especially if traffic signals don’t work and cellphone service is affected.
There also was concern about how those with health issues who rely on electrically powered medical equipment to stay alive would cope without power.
The outage prompted UC Berkeley to cancel classes for a second consecutive day. University officials say some buildings are running on generator power for “life safety, animal care and support of critical research infrastructure.” However, the generators cannot power the entire campus.
The Oakland Zoo also remained closed after the region lost power overnight. The zoo had closed ahead of the planned blackout, and staff rushed out to purchase additional generators to power exhibits for animal safety. The gas they have will power the generators for about four days, Darren Minier, assistant director of animal care, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
In Southern California, residents have anxiously watched how the power shutdowns have affected other parts of the state, wondering if it was a glimpse of what was to come for them.
About two hours northwest of Sacramento in Clearlake, residents entered their second full day without power. At the local Safeway, which had a generator to provide electricity, customers searched for ice and charcoal hoping to save or cook the groceries in their refrigerators.
At a nearby senior center, PG&E set up a charging station in a back room for cellphones and medical equipment. At least 150 people had visited Wednesday, said representative Conrad Asper. By lunchtime Thursday, there had been more than 250.
Paul Spillane, 79, expressed what was a common sentiment at the center: frustration with PG&E.
“I think it’s an outrage,“ he said of the blackouts. “I say it’s the three most miserable days I’ve had since I’ve been up here. I haven’t been eating properly or anything.“
Amee Peterson, 66, said she feels so dirty from a lack of hot showers that she’s considering boiling water on the barbecue to wash her hair. On Wednesday night, she ate cake for dinner because she couldn’t cook. Peterson, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, fibromialgia and other conditions, said she received automated calls warning her of the blackout, but they were not specific. When the power cut out at 1 a.m. while she was reading a book, she was surprised. Even more frustrating, she said, has been the lack of clarity on when power might return.”
….read more at: LA Times