Grass Valley business finds way to work around PG&E’s outages

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AUBURN, Calif. (KTXL) -- On Wednesday, Danielle Vincent checked into a motel -- but not because she needed a place to stay.

“It’s totally surreal,” she told FOX40.

Vincent is the co-owner of Outlaw Soaps, a growing business based in Grass Valley, where she was hard at work Wednesday afternoon.

“And all of a sudden, poof, and everybody said, ‘Oh, the power’s out,’” Vincent said.

Knowing Pacific Gas and Electric’s preemptive power shutoffs were going to happen, Vincent had made a reservation at Motel 6.

“’We'll leave the light on for you?’ Ideal!" she exclaimed.

With boxes of merchandise ready to be packaged, labeled and shipped, she chose the Auburn Motel 6 because it was just outside the border of PG&E’s power outage map.

“Our production schedule could not be more tight and we already lost a few days because we were blindsided by the last power outage,” Vincent said.

Fulfilling online orders requires high-speed internet, which is not available when the power goes out at Outlaw Soaps' Grass Valley headquarters

“People are placing orders all the time and in this age of same-day delivery, people expect stuff really quickly,” Vincent explained. “So, if we have a down time of a couple days, we lose customers to bigger places for who knows how long. Maybe they’ll never come back.”

Within 30 minutes of checking in, shipping labels were printing out.

Meanwhile, at Outlaw Soaps darkened headquarters, Vincent’s husband, Russell, was figuring out how to keep manufacturing on schedule.

“We’ll hook up these generators and we’ll have enough power to run some of the smaller machines that we use,” he told FOX40.

It’s one of many examples of how Californians have been adapting to PG&E's “new normal” when the humidity drops and the wind picks up.

“I’m all for saving lives, whether they be human or animal. So, I get it,” Russell said. “But it is an inconvenience for businesses, which is unfortunate. But you got to do what you got to do.”

“We deliver. The Outlaws show up on time, as promised,” Danielle said. “We won’t let you down. And so, that’s why we just had to make it work, you know.”

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