Colfax residents get ready for another round of PG&E power outages

COLFAX, Calif. (KTXL) — Colfax has already experienced four rounds of Pacific Gas and Electric’s preemptive power outages and this week would mark the fifth.

Colfax Mayor Joe Fatula won’t let his town be powerless as they brace for yet another round of power shut-offs.

“And I have an RV over there and I have a truck. Both have generators on them. If we can figure out a way to help, we’ll help,” Mayor Fatula told FOX40.

PG&E is warning strong winds could force them to turn the lights out for hundreds of thousands of customers this Wednesday.

“This is not a high-end community. This is kind of a disadvantaged community, so people don’t have a lot of extra money to deal with,” Fatula said. “So let’s see, you’ve lost all the food in your refrigerator, so you’ve just thrown that out. And now you’ve lost about at least a week’s worth of work out of the month. How are you going to pay your rent?”

Main Street is typically the busiest part of Colfax but last month when the power went out neighbors said it looked more like a ghost town.

“Food-wise we were the only ones open,” said Jake Karbowski with Main Street Pizza.

Those who had a generator like Main Street Pizza were one of the lucky ones. The restaurant managed to stay open and serve hungry customers during the October blackout — but even they felt the financial pinch.

“Obviously, we couldn’t keep everything cold. We had to throw away a bunch of stuff,” Karbowski said.

This time around, people are staying prepared.

“Our home refrigerator and icebox is not quite as full. So we don’t have to worry about losing things because (the power) was out for about seven days for us on and off the last time,” said Colfax resident Dave Maher.

And Fatula will be lending his own time and generators to those in need by personally driving around town to help charge medical devices and even refrigerators.

The city remains under a state of emergency after last month’s power shut-offs as leaders seek additional funding.

But instead of waiting for help to arrive, neighbors are leaning on one another to shine a light in the darkness.

“I am part of this community, this feels like home,” Fatula told FOX40. “So if something happened to your home, wouldn’t you want to help out?”

This week city leaders are sending out a community survey to account for the lost revenue caused by recent outages. The mayor estimates hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.

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