PG&E Cuts Power as Paradise Neighbors Struggle to Get Back on Their Feet

PARADISE -- Power was back on Sunday afternoon for all neighbors across Butte, Yuba and Plumas counties after Pacific Gas and Electric shut off power Saturday night.

“It’s been one hell of a challenge all the way around,” said Paradise resident Jim Ledrini.

Ledrini was one of more than 10,000 customers across Butte County dealing with outages after PG&E proactively shut off power to prevent its lines from sparking wildfires.

“I understand the winds, the fire conditions, the fire fuel," Ledrini told FOX40. "It's PG&E’s neglect of their infrastructure, of taking care of their infrastructure, maintaining that. Frankly, this just sucks."

It was a tough blow for a town already struggling since the same power company’s lines started the Camp Fire last year.

“You kind of want to roll with the punches, right? But I think we had a pretty hard sucker punch come on November 8th of last year,” Ledrini said.

Ledrini’s home made it through the blaze but his neighbors’ did not. Now, he’s living in a town with limited infrastructure and water that is still unsafe to drink.

“And if we continue days like this, who wants to come back?” he asked.

Business owner Gabriell Herndon has the same concerns.

“It kind of feels almost like post-apocalyptic in a way,” Herndon, who owns Secrets of Paradise, said. “There’s so much devastation everywhere and then there's all these things we have to go through, loops to jump through.”

Her gemstone shop reopened for the first time since the fire on Saturday. She’s now struggling with outages on the second day in business.

But she said she would rather the power be cut than suffer another wildfire.

“What can you do? They’re doing safety things, so,” Herndon said.

PG&E crews had to inspect roughly 1,000 miles of power lines to make sure none were damaged overnight.

As Ledrini waited for his lights to come back on, he was hoping his former neighbors find brightness in their lives.

“Find peace and find strength to do whatever it is they need to do, wherever it is they need to do to get their lives back,” he said.

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