'PS-BS, that's what I call it': Napa County residents brace for another PG&E shutoff amid fire conditions

ByJ.R. Stone and Cornell W. Barnard via KGO logo
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Napa Co. residents brace for another PG&E power shutoff
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PG&E says another public safety power shutoff is likely Thursday morning within the majority in Napa County.

NAPA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- It's new round of anxiety for thousands of Bay Area residents, PG&E says another public safety power shutoff is likely Thursday morning within the vast majority in Napa County.

This comes as Red Flag fire conditions go into effect Wednesday night.

But some homeowners are reaching the breaking point.

"I'm not the whining type but there's nothing else to do but complain," said resident Bill Fletcher.

MORE: Find out if you'll be impacted by PSPS here

ABC7's Cornell Barnard found Fletcher, filling up a gas can. It's fuel for a generator to power his East Napa County home.

Fletcher just got an alert, his power will be likely be shut off. It's not the first time he's been impacted by a PSPS, or as he calls it:

"PSBS, that's what I think of it," Fletcher added.

VIDEO: More PG&E power shutoffs likely, would impact thousands of Bay Area customers

Fletcher says he plans to move out of the Bay Area next year because of fire fears and power shutoffs.

ABC7 News came across a number of others filling up gas containers Wednesday. David Schall of Calistoga says it's expensive, but he doesn't have much of a choice.

"I'm here filling up my gas can for my generator because they are going to shut our power off in the morning," says Schall who spends 37 dollars a day to keep his generator going.

In Calistoga, that is expected to happen on the west side of town between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. due to the threat of dangerous fire conditions in the area.

"We're tired, no power means no business, we'll be out of work it's concerning," said Napa Mini-mart employee Anna Moreno.

Other businesses say they can no longer afford to close. The Local Q 707 restaurant in Calistoga now has not just one, but two generators ready to go as they plan to cook outside during the outage.

VIDEO: PG&E power shutoff causes frustrations for North Bay residents

"That's not gonna work for us anymore so now we're going to set up a tent and put up a grill that we'll connect to a generator. Going to make burgers," says Liza Frediani of Local Q 707.

This area has seen multiple recent power shutoffs and while most will tell you they understand why, they'll also tell you they're getting tired of one thing - Generators.

"Generators are very loud and they smell bad," says Ruth Gelinas. Schall echoed those thoughts, "the hum of these generators all the time is driving us all nuts."

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

PG&E says weather conditions are forcing the utility to shut power off again to the region.

"When we see such dry conditions, there's the possibility a powerline spark could lead to a wildfire," said PG&E spokesperson Tamar Sarkissian.

With Red Flag fire conditions returning, CAL FIRE says its crews are weary but ready after what's been a brutal fire season so far.

"There's no solution until it starts raining, but we need the public to be vigilant and careful," said CAL FIRE Division Chief Jason Martin.

In a statement, PG&E said it will de-energize power lines in parts of 15 counties, impacting about 37,000 customers. This includes five Bay Area counties.

The affected counties include: Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Napa, Plumas, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity and Yolo counties.

PG&E says customers were notified off the power shutoff Wednesday afternoon.

Affected PG&E customers in the Bay Area, per PG&E:

Alameda County: 336 customers

Contra Costa County: 201 customers

Napa County: 3,296 customers

Santa Clara County: 236 customers

Sonoma County: 135 customers

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