Some communities affected by PG&E shutoff may lose power again

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EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) -- Most of the Pacific Gas & Electric customers who endured a planned power shutoff in the Sierra Foothills on Wednesday have electricity again -- but some were notified Friday morning that another outage is likely happening Saturday night.

The reaction in rural El Dorado County was mixed after residents got phone calls and text messages warning of another potential shutoff. Many took the news in stride because, if it happens, it will be the fourth Public Safety Power Shutoff in a year. Neighbors now know what to expect, but that doesn't make things any easier.

"We just got it back on yesterday evening and now we just got a notice that it’s being shut off again so we’ll be faced with more challenges that way," Craig Morton, co-owner of the Morty's Grill food truck, told FOX40.

Morton said he's luckier than most businesses because he put his refrigerated perishables in his food truck, which has its own generator. He said he used his truck to stay open during the last shutoff, but it was hard. His truck isn't able to serve a large number of customers efficiently.

"We're all small, local businesses and it hurts us when these things happen," he said.

Business here is potentially even better on the weekends because it's right in the heart of Apple Hill.  The timing for another power outage couldn’t be worse.

"This time of year we have all the Apple Hill folks coming up here, so it is an influx of business anyway. So it's going to be challenging to get things done," Morton said.

In nearby Camino Heights, neighbors were cleaning up windblown debris.

Carl Funk had his generator running during the last outage. He thinks PG&E is getting better at checking its lines after a wind event.

"I saw the helicopter flying around and then just within an hour or so after that, the power came on. So maybe they’re monitoring a little closer," Funk said.

Funk's neighbor Tabor Pelle bought a generator a week ago, anticipating more outages.

"I think this is the new normal as it is and we cannot change it," Pelle said.

He takes comfort in that his neighbors are helping each other get through the outages by sharing refrigerators and cell phones, but there is still the notion that the power shutoffs are an imperfect solution.

"I hate to see the fires but I hope PG&E can figure out a system that works a little better than it has been," Funk said.

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