Friday afternoon, Oct. 11, 2019
California is on fire again. Homes are going up in flames in the south. Freeways there are closed. In Northern California, PG&E turned off power to 600,000 people. Some of the power has been restored, some not.
PG&E declared bankruptcy last year pending wildfire legal costs after the disastrous Camp Fire wiped out the city of Paradise. Power lines ignited that blaze. Eighty-five people died; 19,000 buildings burned. The city vanished.
So this year PG&E just turned off power to everybody when strong Santa Ana winds were in the forecast. Who needs another lawsuit, although one may be coming from businesses that collectively lost millions, perhaps billions of dollars? Homeowners watched the food in their freezers go bad. Gas stations couldn’t pump gas. Schools were closed. In Nevada City, SPD Market employees could be seen storing food in freezer trucks and helping the store in any way they could.
At the lone hardware store still open in Grass Valley, generators were sold out, and business was brisk on lanterns and flashlights.
Our editors have not had time to report on the situation but we’re working on it. We’ll ask RV dealers in the area if they sold “emergency RVs.”
It seems to us that every time a natural disaster like this happens, the lucky people are those with RVs. Cold and frozen food can be transferred to their fridges. Generators can provide power for lights and A/C when needed, and propane stoves take care of cooking.
TURNING OFF PUBLIC POWER to prevent fires is not sustainable. Over-building in fire-prone areas, global warming and normal fall dry conditions are to blame, and that won’t change. PG&E can’t keep doing this.
Do you live in an area where the power was turned off? Please leave a comment and tell us how you coped. Will you remain in the area or leave?
For those of you involved, we wish you the very best getting through this difficult time.