PG&E's power shutoff expected to last until Wednesday for Sonoma County

Wayne Freedman Image
ByWayne Freedman KGO logo
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Sonoma County power shutoff expected to last until Wednesday
Amid the extreme heat and forecast of winds, PG&E has issued a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) that impacts 17,000 customers in Sonoma County. Some residents are all too familiar and are frustrated that their lives keep getting "interrupted."

SONOMA, Calif. (KGO) -- Despite the hum of portable generators, the power is out in Sonoma County where, due to dead traffic lights, intersections now operate on the honor system. In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, it is Deja-Vu all over again, and not a surprise to those who have lived through a Public Safety Power Shutdown before.

"Well I would say it is a little sooner than I expected," said Amanda Kaffke.

"I am blaming our government and local leaders," added Mark Keifer.

"How can a company get away with this?" asked an incredulous Kerry Oswald.

RELATED: PG&E PSPS impacts 172,000 in 22 California counties

Amid the extreme heat, PG&E is warning customers of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) that could impact 172,000 customers in 22 California counties. Napa and Sonoma counties could start to lose power at 3 a.m. Tuesday

PG&E's shut-off to stop power lines from sparking wildfires began at 3:00 am. Since then,17,000 Sonoma County residents have been in the dark. It may last through Wednesday.

Supervisor Susan Gorin worries that this may be the first of many.

"Well what is wrong with this is here we go again. And where is the wind? This is interrupting people's lives," said Gorin.

Issues range from trivial to life-threatening. Bill O'Neal needed a portable generator at the Oakmont Village Market to charge his wife's oxygen machine. "Well my wife would have real problems without oxygen. She could die."

We did find some good news Tuesday in the form of a man limited only by the length of his extension cords. Bill O'Brien, the patron Good Samaritan of Oakmont has an RV with a generator, and it does travel, feeding power to neighbors like Patricia Thelen.

"I am a single woman and it is nice to have someone who thinks outside his box."

MAP: Here's where PG&E has shut off power for the PSPS, indicated with a purple triangle

We would expect nothing less from a decorated, and retired, New York Paramedic.

"Why you?" we asked.

"Because I can."

"Can you clone yourself?"

"I would love to and then I could have someone do all this stuff for me."