AUBURN — After days without power, people across California are breathing a sigh of relief.
PG&E has restored power to 99.5% of customers after shutting it off Wednesday to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires.
But now, many are left to deal with the aftermath of these outages.
And officials are warning Placer County residents to not throw spoiled food out in a trashcan outside because it could attract bears and other wildlife.
The PG&E power shutoffs not only spoiled some residents’ week but it also spoiled hundreds of dollars worth of food.
“Power was out for about 45 hours,” said Placer County resident Adam Wolfe. “Pretty much all the food from the refrigerator and freezer, It’s frustrating. The uncertainty of it. Literally, the wind changes and you will lose your power. That’s not acceptable.”
Wolfe was among other residents who are dumping their trash bags at the Auburn transfer station, one of three locations in Placer county offering free disposal sites for spoiled food.
Placer County Public Works Director Kevin Bell urged residents to take advantage of the dumping sites because it could be several days before the next trash pickup.
“It’s gonna be smelly. It is gonna be smelly,” said Bell.
Bell warned the strong stench could attract vicious visitors like wild bears looking for a snack.
“[Residents] can bring in the food in any shape or form,” said Bell. “It can be in the original containers…separate bags. Whatever works for them is fine for us.”
PG&E said it won’t reimburse any claims from these public safety power shutoffs, so neighbors are on their own to pay for all the spoiled food.
Some residents understand the need for power shutoffs to prevent wildfires.
“I mean it’s better than losing your whole house or something,” said resident Danielle Bivens. “I believe there’s a reason why they’re doing what they had to do.”
While others, like Wolfe, think the situation is just garbage.
“It’s their negligence. It’s their lack of maintenance that’s doing this,” said Wolfe. “Rolling blackouts is not a plan.”
But many residents seem to be thankful for a place to get the mess off their hands.
“What can we do as an individual but just restart? Go to the grocery store and begin again,” said Bivens.
The following dumping sites will be free through Monday evening:
Recology Auburn Placer
12305 Shale Ridge Road
8 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
2950 Combie Road
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
6699 Patent Road
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.