PLACERVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — In downtown Placerville, mellow music and gold rush charm were still on full display Monday despite another obstacle on the horizon for local businesses.
“I feel like we’ve missed out on our summer and we’re doing a redo out here on summer,” said Kaitlyn Keyt, owner of the Enchanted Forest Restaurant.
Business owners like Keyt were working extra hard to preserve what they’ve built here during a time of COVID-19 restrictions and now the announcement from Pacific Gas and Electric that power will be shut off to most of the area Tuesday and Wednesday to prevent fires.
“They said it could go on longer, which again makes it hard to reordering your food and being prepared,” Keyt explained.
PG&E says 26,491 El Dorado County customers, including 1,652 medical baseline customers, could have their power shut off starting around midnight Tuesday. Power could be restored as late as Wednesday night.
Keyt said she’s going to lose perishable food but she’s glad she got some advanced warning from the utility.
“Last time it was Friday, we had a restaurant full of people. And boom, off went the power,” Keyt recalled.
A few doors down, Mary Dedrick of Dedrick’s Cheese had a whole store full of perishables.
“I have been through this several times,” Derick said.
She has a generator that can power a few of her refrigerators.
“Everything gets packaged up in rolling coolers with reusable, frozen ice sheets,” Dedrick explained.
But she said she’s not sure she has enough ice sheets to preserve all the cheese.
“So, it’s very hard. It’s a very stressful situation that I try to not impose on anybody else other than myself,” Dedrick said.
Dedrick said she recently tried to buy more freezers but ever since the pandemic, freezers have been in such high demand there haven’t been any available.
Not every Main Street business will lose power.
“One side of the town gets power. The other side does not,” said Dana LeBlanc, owner of the downtown Placerville Sourdough & Co.
PG&E’s map of the power shutoff area shows some parts of Main Street in orange, meaning they’ll lose power and some in white, meaning the electricity will stay on.
“There’s a substation that allows one half of this town to be powered,” LeBlanc explained. “The other side of the street is on a different circuitry, different substation. So, unfortunately, they are not powered.”
LeBlanc said he’s prepared to offer neighboring businesses some freezer space if his power stays on.
If there was one thing the business owners had in common, it was a positive attitude, along with the creative spirit needed to keep business on track during a year of so many hurdles.
“How does it go? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Right? So, I feel like in our first year, if we can get through all this, you know, we can handle anything,” Keyt said.
“We’ll find out tomorrow when this all comes to play,” LeBlanc said. “It’s going to be very interesting and challenging.”
“If we’re preventing fires, I believe in it,” Dedrick said.