Calistoga mayor, fire chief say power outages were unnecessary

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
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In Calistoga and other parts of Napa, Lake, and Sonoma counties, residents know all the troubles of power outages after PG&E pulled the plug in response to high fire danger.

CALISTOGA, Calif. (KGO) -- How quickly we realize we're creatures of habit when electricity disappears. Traffic lights don't work. Gasoline stations do not pump. The list goes on. In Calistoga and other parts of Napa, Lake, and Sonoma Counties, residents know all of those troubles and more after PG&E pulled the plug last night in response to high fire danger.

"Yes, it was blowing pretty hard last night," said Nancy Shadd of Calistoga.

PG&E says winds gusted at 70 miles an hour in the hills above - that cutting power to transmission lines reduced risk.

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

"It is in the name of safety. We would only do this as a last resort," explained Deanna Contreras, who speaks for PG&E.

In Calistoga the mayor and fire chief disagreed. "I think in pre-planning it had merit but based on the weather I do not think it was necessary," said fire chief Steve Campbell.

"Overall we love PG&E but there has to be a better way," said Mayor Chris Canning, who spent hours on the phone with PG&E today, waiting to hear when the power would return.

Only, said PG&E, after crews checked 78 miles of transmission lines and 2,150 miles of distribution in 12 counties.

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

Meantime, Calistoga the tourist town waited - From fine restaurants with empty tables keeping their food on ice, to Ireneo Fernandez, watching spoilage in his small grocery store. "I am pretty sure there are going to be losses," he said.

PG&E says it bears no financial responsibility.

"We understand how frustrating it is but cannot anticipate reimbursing customers for losses," said Contreras.

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

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)