Fifth day of power outages for Bay Area

January 8, 2008 7:01:42 PM PST
The latest in the series of storms to hit the Bay Area was not as severe as Friday's storm. However it still caused power outages to jump to over 7,000 this afternoon and finally, some relief has come to one neighborhood in Marin County.

A caveman might have called this luxury. But then, they never knew the concepts of dishwashers, laundry machines, refrigerators, or waiting four days for PG&E to restore power.

"I'm getting a good dose of disinformation," says Jim Campell.

So this morning, Jim Campell gave up on hoping a PG&E representative would find him. Instead, he found them.

"We're in motel, running out of money to cover charges."

His home is one of fourteen along the narrow Monte Cimas above Mill Valley. They've endured hard times -- by Marin County standards.

Don Dilley's PG&E crew from Santa Rosa has been working 18-hour days since Friday. He's one of those guys who takes notes on his hard hat. His crew is climbing poles, clearing debris, and taking the verbal front-line heat.

"At least we're busy," says Dilley.

When you're the victim of a power outage, it's natural to remain cynical, even when the rescue crew promise lights within an hour.

40 feet up and 30 minutes later, a guy named A.J. pushed home a fuse and modern comforts returned and Jim Campbell was moved to tears by a belated, second Christmas.

"It's going to be a relief," says Campbell.

They were once the faceless villains and now the PG&E crews are heroes to these homeowners.

With Jim's particular house, the problems aren't over. A weakened tree branch lies directly above the power lines that lead directly to his house. If it falls, Campbell may have to go through his suffering all over again.