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PG&E prepares for outages during upcoming rain

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) As the Central Coast prepares for more rain this weekend, Pacific Gas & Electric is making sure they're prepared for any potential weather-related outages.

The company has stockpiled extra equipment at their Santa Cruz service center in case they need to restore power.

"Our crews are going to be working around the clock," said Mayra Tostado, Spokesperson for PG&E. "We are prepared to move crews from areas that are not seeing as much of an impact so that they can help us restore power more quickly."

There are extra power poles, transformers and power lines on hand in Santa Cruz.

"Because of the drought, some of the vegetation is already weakened. With the strong winds, we can see trees and debris coming down. We ask people if they have outdoor furniture, to make sure that you secure it because there is a possibility that anything can strike our power lines, bring down the electric equipment and cause power outages," said Tostado.

PG&E is also considering setting up a separate base camp in the Santa Cruz mountains where they can keep more equipment on hand. That way, crews won't have to travel from Santa Cruz to fix any problems. It would also help if there are any road closures that could keep crews out of the area.

PG&E says they are especially concerned about the San Lorenzo Valley area, where people often see outages. Many people I spoke to in Felton say they already have generators on hand.

"We're prepared, we have a small generator. So when the power does go out, we're able to power up our refrigerator and not lose the things that we buy, like groceries. And for the most part, we just hunker down. We have a gas heating device so it's not like we're without heat," said Sarah Rick, who lives in Felton.

PG&E is also asking customers to prepare. Tostado says people should have batteries and flashlights on hand. Candles are discouraged because of the fire risk. They are also asking people to make sure their contact information is up-to-date on the PG&E website in case they need to be contacted for an emergency.

They are also asking people to stay away from downed power lines.

"If you're out and you encounter a downed power line, we ask you to stay away because it could be energized. It's extremely dangerous. You should report it to 9-1-1 and then PG&E."

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Lisa Principi

Lisa Principi is a reporter at KION News Channel 5/46.

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