Monks live without phone service, spotty electricity after storms

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Monks in rural Alameda County living without phone service and intermittent electricity. (KGO-TV )

The monks at The Holy Cross Orthodox Monastery on Palomares Road in Alameda County have been living with no phone service and intermittent electricity since Tuesday afternoon.

Father Stephen heads the order of five Orthodox Christian monks on the property and says they're used to going without some comforts but no landline makes them especially isolated because there is no cell service in that area.

"It's very primitive out here by Bay Area standards," said Father Stephen. "You have to drive out of the canyon 5 miles to the south, but we can't because of a rock slide. So you have to drive 7 miles north to get your cellphone to work."

Sporadic power outages have meant no power to the pumps that provide drinking water and no way to heat the buildings in the canyon where it's 10 to 15 degrees colder than surrounding areas. That means they're literally praying for things to return to normal.

A couple of miles down the road, rain and swollen creeks helped bring down two huge eucalyptus trees that took out the power and phone lines. One tree landed right on Kathy Gil's front yard Tuesday afternoon.

"I heard the crack and looked up and saw it starting to fall and just kind of ran out of the way," said Gil.

One tree narrowly missed the chickens she keeps and landed just a few feet away from her home. She's waiting for the county to come and clear things away.

In the meantime, AT&T crews have been working to restore phone service for the Monks.

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weatherelectricrainstormsevere weatherfloodingpower outageCastro Valley
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