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Restaurant owner who lost thousands in PG&E shutoff says it may happen again

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PLYMOUTH, Calif. (KTXL) -- Karen Martin has been taking orders and serving up delicious food at Marlene and Glen's Diner, in Plymouth, for 21 years.

She said business at her restaurant has been good over the years -- until recently.

They've struggled to get back on track after PG&E public safety outages hit Amador County earlier this month.

“It’s been a debacle, just a real mess,” she said.

The power was out for three days, forcing her to throw out all of the diner's food.

“I lost over $5,000 worth of food that I had to throw away and replace and five days’ worth of business at an incredibly busy restaurant,” Martin said.

Martin said it was about a $25,000 hit to her bottom line. She said the outages also hurt her employees.

“They’re missing a paycheck for a week plus and they can’t live on missing any work,” Martin told FOX40. “This is a small town. They live paycheck to paycheck here.

Marlene and Glen's couldn’t reopen for more than a week after the outage. Martin said business has been slower than usual.

“People that lost their food were not coming in when we did reopen because they had to restock their refrigerators for $200 or $300,” Martin said.

While the diner has been back in business for the last eight days, they’ve been on alert that they could have their power shut off again.

“Even though I’ve been here 21 years, I have a loyal following. But if they can’t come in and eat, they can’t spend any money,” Martin said.

Martin told FOX40 she's thankful for all her customers who have been coming in but with another power shutoff looming, this time around she's taking extra precautions.

“I have to call friends and relatives to store my food if they do turn my lights out on Sunday as well,” Martin said. “So it’s a lot of extra work and a lot of aggravation.”

She said she wants PG&E to give more details about planned outages to help business owners like her prepare.

“They really don’t give us a specific time and that’s what hurts as well because we don’t know what in the heck we’re expecting,” Martin told FOX40. “It could be the worst we could be alright.”

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