North Bay residents stock up before possible power shut off

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
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North Bay residents stocked up as they awaited PG&E to make a decision.

WINDSOR, Calif. (KGO) -- Three North Bay cities have opened cooling centers because of the hot temperatures-- and they'll be open again Wednesday in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and Windsor.

PG&E may still shut off the power to reduce the risk of wildfires. It's a next-to-worst case scenario waiting to happen, if it happens.

RELATED: North Bay residents anxious with possible PG&E power shutoffs looming

Dennis Tussey of Sweet T's Restaurant and bar in Windsor. His refrigerator has $20,000 worth of food, and PG&E could turn the electricity off at any time.

"I think it's a new reality we need to deal with," said Tussey. "I am looking at the possibility of acquiring a generator."

Tussey is not alone, which explains how business is up some 200-percent at Leete Generators of Santa Rosa. Owner Liesl Ramsey lost her home in the fire two years ago.

"Y2K was busy but nothing compares with this," she said. "If they cut the power would you like to stick around and help me answer phones?"

In the back of her 100+-year-old business, we found row after row of generators, all purchased, waiting for electricians to install them. The not-so-subtle message-- this would not have been the day to go shopping.

"You know if you haven't planned ahead you are late in the game. Obviously, you don't just plug in a generator," said Leisl.

That as the North Bay dealt with dry heat, but not the most dangerous factor, which is wind. At least, not yet. That is why PG&E kept customers are waiting all afternoon. Would they cut the power in an emergency shut off, or not?

RELATED: PG&E launches website to warn about preemptive shutoffs

"We're still awaiting a decision," said PGE spokesperson Deanna Contreras.

As is the rest of the North Bay. If anyone sees both sides of this, it would be Dennis Tussey of Sweet T's. Their first restaurant burned down in the Tubbs Fire, two years ago.