For people with medical needs, power shutoffs can cause extra complications

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AMADOR COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) -- For people with medical needs, Pacific Gas & Electric's public safety power shutoffs can cause extra problems.

One couple in Sutter County says they lost hundreds of dollars in food and medicine.

"I can't even take showers, we have no hot water. We boil water to wash dishes because it's just cold,” said Sutter Creek resident Cathy Carrico.

It was a condition the Carricos have lived through twice now.

Three and a half weeks ago, an automated recording informed them their power would be shut off three hours before it happened.

"It was out for approximately four and a half days," Brent Carrico said.

Then this past Saturday, they lost power again. It came back on before noon Tuesday but was expected to be shut off again by 4 p.m. through Wednesday.

Since the initial shutoff, the couple has lost close to $600 in groceries. But aside from losing all that food, Brent, who is diabetic, lost $150 worth of insulin.

“I take once in the morning and twice at night,” he explained.

Brent's doctor told him the insulin needs to be at around 38 degrees or else it could cause a deadly reaction.

After taking such a big hit financially, Brent called PG&E to see if the company could reimburse some of their lost funds but was told the utility had a “new policy” and would not be reimbursing anyone.

"This very arrogant supervisor came on and informed me that it was my wife and myself's fault that we lost everything," Brent told FOX40.

The couple said the supervisor told them they should have purchased a generator.

"And I said, ‘Well, we didn't have any idea it was going out until three or four hours before the event happened," Brent said.

After living in the area for 30 years, the Carricos did not believe this would become a regular thing but have since purchased a generator. They don't expect to have it before Nov. 12 since most of them are coming from out of state.

Brent says PG&E should make things right for the thousands of residents affected by their actions. The utility could start by offering rebates for the generators.

"Just to show that you actually care about the people," Brent said.


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