PG&E kept power on for Nevada County but some businesses still lost a day

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NEVADA CITY, Calif. (KTXL) -- Nevada County neighbors were relieved and grateful Wednesday after learning Pacific Gas and Electric would not be turning off their power after all.

But for a lot of people, the call was too late. Businesses and schools had already decided to close for the day.

A collective sigh of relief echoed over the lunch rush at Bistro 221.

“I texted everybody and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to be open tonight and tomorrow.’ So everybody is very happy,” said owner Melissa Bryant.

Bryant told FOX40 she learned early Wednesday afternoon that PG&E would not shut off power to her Nevada City restaurant.

Rain Tuesday night brought enough moisture to the foothills that the power company canceled planned shut-offs in Nevada, El Dorado, Placer, Amador and Sierra counties.

“We’re looking at wind speeds and wind gusts,” said PG&E spokeswoman Brandi Merlo. “We’re looking at temperatures, humidity levels, both in the air as well as in the dry vegetation and the live vegetation.”

Changes in weather changed plans for many but for some businesses, it was hard to keep up.

“We’re obviously concerned for the other businesses that didn’t open in the anticipation that we were going to be shut off for the whole day,” said Búho Bakery owner Lisa Rodriguez.

Many couldn’t get staffing together to open on such short notice.

Bryant had to scramble to get everything ready. After losing nearly $10,000 in profits and spoiled food over the last four shut-offs, she needed the business.

“It just adds another level of ‘ah!’ OK, now we’re reversing and now I need to go shopping more and buy more things for the restaurant,” Bryant told FOX40.

Next time around, she said she’s hoping PG&E can communicate more clearly rather than make customers wait several hours before making the call to either keep power on or shut it off. Because for her, living life in power limbo just is not working.

“Not knowing, trying to prepare, the uncertainty is just it's anxiety for everybody,” Bryant said.

A lot of businesses said they are looking at longer-term solutions like large backup generators -- but those can be expensive. While they got off easy this time, they said they know more shut-offs are likely in their future.

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