Placerville business owners use generators to stay open during PG&E power shutoffs

Local News

PLACERVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — Placerville business owners were getting creative to make it through Pacific Gas and Electric’s power shutoffs, which were aimed at preventing wildfires.

The hum of an electricity generator was the sound of survival for John Sanders’ restaurant, Old Town Grill.

“At this point, this is just to keep my food cold,” Sanders told FOX40.

Generators kept his refrigerators on while the power was out.

“Just to keep it so I don’t lose anything,” Sanders explained.

Sanders was one of thousands across Placerville dealing with shutoffs from PG&E.

“First you just kind of hang your head and go ‘ugh, again?’ There’s already so many challenges that we’re going through with COVID-19,” Sanders said.

Power shutoffs closed his business for more than a week last year. At least this time the company gave them some warning.

“We’re grateful that we get that heads up because we could kind of schedule for that and plan for that. But it doesn’t make it any easier when you’re losing that revenue,” Sanders said.

More lost revenue was something Randy Haskins said he simply couldn’t bear.

“We are literally hanging on by the skin of our teeth,” Haskins told FOX40. “We’ve been closed two months for COVID. Now, no electricity.”

So, Haskins moved his decorating store, Home Inspirations, outside using a generator to power the register.

He said the mission of his shop can’t be put on hold.

“The profits from this store go to support a men’s and a women’s home,” Haskins explained.

Businesses on the other side of Main Street were spared this round of shutoffs. PG&E said they’re on a different circuit that doesn’t run through an area at risk of starting flames.

And while another day with no air conditioning and no business was a struggle for Sanders, he said it’s worth it to protect his neighbors.

“If one person doesn’t have to be displaced or they’re not injured or they (don’t) lose family members, then it’s worth it. But I don’t like it,” Sanders said while chuckling.

With more wind in the forecast, PG&E said the area will likely have another day without power.

As of Tuesday, the estimated restoration time for the outages on Main Street was around 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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