'Completely unreliable': Santa Cruz Mountain residents frustrated with repeated PG&E outages

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KGO) -- For three weekends in a row, residents of the small town of La Honda in the Santa Cruz Mountains, have had their power shut off unexpectedly.

"This is just starting to get really extreme. Three weeks, no communication, and this power outage now, it's getting a little crazy," said Amanda King.

King is a La Honda resident.

She says the power company notified customers they'd be taking new steps to prevent wildfires in their area.

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But while residents in La Honda say they support wildfire prevention measures. What they're really looking for is better communication from PG&E.

PG&E's new measures include shutting off power lines without notice when it deems there could be a risk of wildfire.

But with the sudden shutoffs now happening three times in a row, many in La Honda are growing increasingly frustrated.

Not least of all, they say, because they're not notified of why the power is actually being turned off.

"And if you look around too, it's not windy or terrible weather so the curiosity is what's causing it to be shut off," said Virginia Pease, another La Honda resident.

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Anything from wind, to an animal, or even a kite disrupting the line can trigger the automatic shutoffs, and once a line is off, it has to be inspected before it can be switched back on.

PG&E says they've heard their customers complaints clearly and are working on solutions, including adding more staff to ensure lines are turned back on more quickly.

"We are taking steps to improve the safety measure, including fine tuning the sensitivity of each of these devices," said Deanna Contreras, a spokesperson for the company.

But for some residents of La Honda, regaining trust in the power giant could take quite some time.

"PG&E is completely unreliable at this point," King said.


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