Power Shut-Offs Become A Way Of Life For Many Californians
The utility PG and E shut down parts of its system to prevent its own power lines from sparking fires during strong winds and dry weather that has left hundreds of thousands of people there waiting for the lights to come back on after two days in the dark. These sorts of widespread power shut offs have become a way of life for many Californians and ask Beedies Lily Jamali reports. Residents aren't happy in the tiny community of Concow, about three hours north east of San Francisco. Jesse Olson and her family have lived through PG and E power shut offs. Not once but twice in the last week. It's not easy. It's like they're adjusted recovering from one power outage, and then you're preparing for the next one. A portable generator has helped them stay warm. Keep phone's charged and for the kids at least try to do school online. We also have. We also have a farm with livestock, So we have to keep the antibiotics refrigerated. The Olsens survived California's deadliest and most destructive fire 2018 campfire. It burned down their home. It was sparked by old poorly maintained equipment belonging to Pee Jeannie Online's that stayed active during peak fire conditions. And now we're all living in an RV. Olson adopted her boys out of foster care. They'd been homeless before that. I never wanted them to have tto deal with homelessness ever again. Ah, they they were supposed to have a forever home some place where they felt safe for the rest of their lives. And now that's gone. Olson calls P Genie's power shut offs and necessary evil. 200 Miles southeast, Terry McBride has also suffered the consequences of fire and power shut offs. Her home in the community of Mountain Ranch was hit by a PG Any cost fire five years ago, 2400 Square foot house to a 250 scores for camping trailer. If you didn't laugh, we'd cry. She's surviving P Genie's power shut offs in her trailer. It's like line camping. You know, my mom's got electricity and Senate dress I was able to put My frozen stuff in her freezer so they don't go bad. It's been tough. And while some p Jeannie Fire survivors feel relief that the company is proactively cutting power, McBride is frustrated at the utility for neglecting its lines for years. My feeling is why didn't you do your job in the first place? Why are we having to go through this? Now? P. Jeannie has promised to make long term fixes to its lines. So power outages like these aren't a permanent way of life for NPR news. I'm Lily Jamali in San Francisco.