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Boulder Creek residents prepare for Public Safety Power Shutoff

PG&E Resource Center

BOULDER CREEK, Calif. (KION) On Wednesday, Boulder Creek residents prepared for what could be a long and dark night.

"I just got my generator. I got both my freezer and ice box," said resident, Ted Tahira.

For many, this is not their "first rodeo." Doug Wade was visiting his vacation home during a past Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) by PG&E. This time, he said he is ready. "I have batteries for my iPhone. I'm an old guy that has a CPAP machine. I've got my CPAP battery to run that thing," said Wade.

Because strong wind and high heat are in the forecast, PG&E is planning to cut power to 24 California counties. This is done to decrease fire risk: a threat that is all too familiar in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

"We know that vegetation is critically dry in Santa Cruz County, especially up in the mountains. A lot of residents have already experienced a wildfire. It's a situation that needs to be addressed proactively. That is why a Public Safety Power Shutoff is needed," PG&E spokesperson, Mayra Tostado.

PG&E has set up resource centers to bring power to communities in the dark.

Starting at 5 p.m. an outdoor center Saint Michael Catholic Church in Boulder Creek will open to provide charging stations, WiFi, restrooms, snacks and water.

This year PG&E said they have taken steps to ensure less people will lose power in the event of a shutoff. Tostado said they do this with technology like sectionalizers and micro grids.

Residents said they are willing to take the steps necessary to keep their community safe. "For all we've experienced this year, safety is number one," said Wade.

Visit PG&E for a map of the most current outages across the state.

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Megan Meier

Megan Meier is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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