North Bay residents hope for early relief on third day of PG&E power shutoff

ByAnser Hassan KGO logo
Friday, October 16, 2020
North Bay residents hope for early relief on third day of PG&E power shutoff
Families in Sonoma are finding new ways to cope as PG&E power shutoffs become an annual occurrence in the North Bay.

SONOMA, Calif. (KGO) -- At the Sebastiani house in the City of Sonoma, there seems to be a new October tradition.

"It's been, overall, like a low-grade discomfort, that you just kind of learn to, unfortunately, expect and live with, when it comes to October," explains Anne Marie Sebastiani.

Sebastiani is talking about another October dealing with PG&E power cuts.

RELATED: MAP: PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs impact thousands in 24 Calif. counties

She says her family is finding new ways to cope, something she says that just comes with experience. This year, they got a small generator that they power up during the day, so her three kids have internet for school.

"We have a generator, but we did not have that (before). It's kind of like you live and you learn each time," says Sebastiani, who has lived in Sonoma for the past 20 years.

Russell Schrader, who lives a few houses down, says the power outage has been tough.

"We have had no refrigeration, no television, no internet, no telephone," says Schrader, adding that there is no air-conditioning either, to handle the heat.

RELATED: PG&E Power Outages: How to prepare for shut off

However, he thinks this year, the neighborhood is at least more prepared.

"We had the fire department come through in late spring and identified any sources of danger that we had to clean up. And I think everybody around... did a lot of work," says Schrader.

One of their neighbors lost their house in the 2017 North Bay Fires, so they understand PG&E's cutting power to in an effort to prevent wildfires.

Sebastiani just hopes the utility company finds a solution to the temporary power cuts. But she says her family has grown stronger over the past three years.

RELATED: PG&E Outage: A look back at utility company's history of blackouts

"(There is) just a sense of resilience. We have gone through it and we can do it again," says Sebastiani.

PG&E crews were out inspecting lines Friday morning in Sonoma. It says residents will see their power turned back as soon as it is safe to do so. However, PG&E reminds customers that the outage is scheduled to last through 10 p.m. on Friday, throughout the Bay Area.