California, a left-leaning state that already faces homelessness and financial crises, is under fire from citizens after nearly a million customers had their electricity shut off.
“Classes were canceled. Frozen foods melted. Hospitals switched to emergency generators. Blooms withered in florists’ coolers. Unused food was jettisoned at shuttered restaurants. Lines formed at gas stations. Cellphones faded out,” the Los Angeles Times reported about the Wednesday outages.
Some of California’s largest utility companies reportedly shut off power to avoid the wildfires that have plagued the state in the past.
“The reality is that we want to protect people. We want to make sure people are safe. This is what PG&E thinks is in the best interest of their customers and ultimately for this region and the state,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in defense of the power outages.
“It is a massive inconvenience,” the governor continued. “No one wants to see this happen. But it is a public safety issue.”
Utility company SoCal Edison warned that more outages could be coming. They warned citizens in several counties in Southern California that their electricity could be cut off as Santa Ana winds pick up power over the next week.
Because winds can pick up to 80mph and California is so dry, it can create dangerous fire conditions.
The 800,000 customers who already had their power cut off were in Northern California.
“The first power cutoffs, expected to affect 513,000 customers, began shortly after midnight in several counties around Sacramento, including Placer and Yuba, amid strengthening winds and continued to roll out into the early morning hours,” the L.A. Times reported.
“The blackouts will impact 34 counties in Central and Northern California. It would be the biggest power shutdown so far as utilities across the state attempt to reduce wildfire risk due to heavy wind. Utilities malfunctions have been tied to some of the state’s most destructive fires, including last year’s Camp fire, which devastated Paradise, Calif., and the 2017 wine country blazes,” their report continued.
With 800,000 customers losing service, around two million people were left without access to electricity.
“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility, which is why PG&E has decided to turn power off to customers during this widespread, severe wind event,” Michael Lewis, PG&E’s senior vice president of electric operations, explained in a statement. “We understand the effects this event will have on our customers and appreciate the public’s patience as we do what is necessary to keep our communities safe and reduce the risk of wildfire.”
There is a question to the effect of the power outages though.
Scott McLean, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told the L.A. Times that the state’s fire protection agency has not studied whether the power outages affect wildfires.
“We’re like everybody else — we adapt accordingly,” he said. “These power outages aren’t hampering our response capabilities. We’re making sure we have the power and logistical support we need to keep functioning.”
The power outages have not left people happy, and some see it as another sign of California echoing troubles faced by third-world, communist nations.
Growing up in Communism, planned power outage happened often. Didn’t expect to see this happens in the US. Then, it’s California, which explains…. https://t.co/6vkS5NnH8H
— Helen Raleigh (@HRaleighspeaks) October 9, 2019
Jokes aside, it is honestly just so mind numbingly frustrating to pay half my income in rent so I can:
-Go to work on crumbling trains
-Live in a cramped box into my mid-30s
-Choose between choking from wildfires or routine power outages
California is failing to govern
— Armand Domalewski (@ArmandDoma) October 9, 2019
My town is currently having a #poweroutage as much of California seems to be and there’s one store that apparently has a generator so in the middle of town surrounded by businesses covered in darkness is this lone donut shop appearing like a beacon of hope… pic.twitter.com/VP75cFtuzj
— Patrick (@ItsPat_SB) October 9, 2019
Don’t y’all find it suspicious that the gas prices ONLY in California sky rocketed this week, then pg&e creates a panic making people rush to go buy as much gas as possible for their cars & generators during the same week? #poweroutage
— Melissa Ramirez (@missyplur) October 9, 2019
Please, California friends, check on the elderly and disabled during the #poweroutage. You will be inconvenience, your tolerance & comfort tested, they will be facing life and death issues and personal injuries. It takes you-Don’t think Gov has them taken care of!
— Paul Chambers???? (@feedingtubepaul) October 9, 2019
— John Howard (@ClonesFanJMH) October 9, 2019
I’m affected by the #poweroutage in California, and I’m extremely annoyed that PG&E has conducted its business so incompetently over the past few decades that it’s currently too dangerous for their business to operate. Climate change, yes, but also immense greed and incompetence.
— A Bespectacled Lion (@spectacledlion) October 9, 2019
Pg&e is a joke. State of California is a joke for letting them do it. #poweroutage
— J Mills (@JamesKMillsIII) October 9, 2019
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