When all we have to amuse ourselves with right now besides 2000-piece puzzles are television and the internet, it seems sorely unfair that PG&E is pushing ahead with power shutoffs during shelter-in-place orders. But that's what's happening all day today in parts of the East Bay, and people are not exactly pleased.
"When I called on Monday to say, you know, you guys are gonna reschedule, right? I was blown away when they said no, we're not gonna reschedule, in fact we're gonna move forward and there's nothing you can do," says Danville resident Stephen Dunphy, speaking to ABC 7. Dunphy's now not able to work from home today, and he and other Contra Costa County residents are mad that PG&E is trying to do this maintenance work right now.
The power is off from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today in two small sections of Orinda and Danville, affecting a few hundred customers, according to PG&E outage map. But for these customers, being without power can't come at a worse time — and what about all that frozen food?!
PG&E says that maintenance has to occur in order to prepare for fire season — and if we're still mostly locked indoors in the Bay Area as fire season kicks into gear, this could be a miserable one indeed.
PG&E, which is still trying to emerge from bankruptcy before a June 30 deadline, has certainly not accomplished all the tree-trimming and other maintenance work that would make this a power-outage-free season. Back in February, PG&E began preparing us for the fire season to come and suggesting that the North Bay hills — particularly around Napa and Sonoma counties — are likely to see the most proactive power shutoffs when wind conditions demand it.
But now? This week?
Sean Venezia, a neighbor of Dunphy's in Danville, tells ABC 7 that a PG&E rep basically said "too bad" when he called to complain about the shutoff notice, saying his kids would miss their online classes and all his frozen food would thaw.
"I said you can't do this now, everybody's trapped in their homes," Venezia said.