Calistoga businesses taking a hit from PG&E power shutdown

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ByAmy Hollyfield KGO logo
Monday, October 15, 2018
Calistoga businesses taking a hit from PG&E power shutdown
Harvest time is the busiest time of year for wineries, but today the grapes they have picked can't be de-stemmed or crushed because PG&E has shut off the power.

CALISTOGA, Calif. (KGO) -- Harvest time is the busiest time of year for wineries, but today the grapes they have picked can't be de-stemmed or crushed because PG&E has shut off the power.

"This time of year is usually crazy. Seven days a week fruit is coming in all day long all night long it is a very busy time. It is a big inconvenience not to have power right now," said Todd Graff, the general manager and winemaker at Frank Family Vineyards.

They also closed the tasting room.

PG&E said it shut down the power because of concerns that the wind could knock over a power line and start a fire.

RELATED: New PG&E policy may cut off electricity to Bay Area customers during high fire danger

The outages are impacting about 415 customers in Sonoma County, 2,300 in Calistoga, 5,700 in Napa County and approximately 11,000 in Lake County. At least 42,000 PG&E customers have been impacted in the Sierra Foothills. PG&E estimates most outages will be over by tonight, but some could last longer due to possible repairs.

The outages have caused some school closures in Lake and Napa counties.

"We support the pre-cautionary measures but I am getting word it's going to be 48 hours to upwards of five days. It's ridiculous. It doesn't make any sense. I don't know what to say I am dumbfounded," said Kevin Kathman, the chef at All Seasons Bistro in Calistoga. He brought in dry ice to try and keep his groceries cold. He estimates he will lose about $20,000 worth of meat and produce if the power isn't turned on by this afternoon.

He hates the thought of throwing out all that food and may decide to feed the neighborhood.

"If we have no power and we can't open for business I will probably throw a block party. I don't know what else to do," Kathman said.

Cal Mart grocery store is also closed today because of the power outage. Calistoga resident Chelsea Collins stopped by in the hopes it was open. She says despite the hassle, she appreciates the power outage saying last night's wind reminded her of the night of the fires last year.

RELATED: Sonoma County residents prep for PG&E Red Flag Warning power outages

"It was scary because it was windy just like it was last year. I didn't sleep well. This is a minor inconvenience," said Collins.

Back at the vineyard, they are talking about buying a generator in case PG&E does this every harvest season.

"I understand why they did it. Last year was a fiasco it was terrible. I get that it is better safe than sorry- it's up to us now to deal with new normal," said Graff.

PG&E said it is inspecting all of its lines for wind damage and does not have a set date for restoring the power. If there is no damage, power could come back on at the end of the day.

"The loss and damages could be almost as much as a year ago without the loss of life. I don't know what to say," said Kathman.

To find out if you are in an affected area click here.

The following is a full list of counties and cities that could experience some outages, according to PG&E:

  • Lake County (Clearlake, Clearlake Oaks, Clearlake Park, Cobb, Finley, Hidden Valley Lake, Kelseyville, Lakeport, Lower Lake, Middletown)
  • Napa County (Angwin, Calistoga, Deer Park, Lake Berryessa, Napa, Pope Valley, Saint Helena)
  • Sonoma County (Cloverdale, Geyserville, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa)
  • Yuba County (Brownsville, Camptonville, Challenge, Dobbins, Marysville, Oregon House, Strawberry Valley)
  • Butte County (Berry Creek, Brush Creek, Clipper Mills, Feather Falls, Forbestown, Oroville)
  • Sierra County (Alleghany, Downieville, Goodyears Bar, Pike City, Sierra City)
  • Placer County (Alta, Applegate, Auburn, Baxter, Colfax, Dutch Flat, Emigrant Gap, Foresthill, Gold Run, Loomis, Meadow Vista, Weimar)
  • Nevada County (Chicago Park, Grass Valley, Nevada City, North San Juan, Penn Valley, Rough and Ready, Soda Springs, Washington)
  • El Dorado County (Aukum, Camino, Coloma, Cool, Diamond Springs, El Dorado, Fair Play, Garden Valley, Georgetown, Greenwood, Grizzly Flats, Kelsey, Kyburz, Mount Aukum, Omo Ranch, Pacific House, Placerville, Pollock Pines, Shingle Springs, Silver Fork, Somerset, Strawberry, Twin Bridges)
  • Amador County (Fiddletown, Jackson, Pine Grove, Pioneer, Plymouth, Sutter Creek, Volcano)
  • Plumas County (La Porte)
  • Calaveras (Glencoe, Mokelumne Hill, Mountain Ranch, Rail Road Flat, West Point, Wilseyville)