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Residents in parts of Carmel and Big Sur face power outage

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KION

CARMEL, Calif. (KION) Residents in parts of Carmel and Big Sur are still without power after PG&E initiated a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event, Wednesday night.

Some came to Mid Valley Center in Carmel, Thursday, to power up and cool down.

This year, PG&E's community resource centers look a little different. They're now held outdoors because of COVID-19, but still offer help to people who have lost power at home.

"They say that they want to shut the power off so the lines don't spark and create a fire, but why are the lines sparking in the first place?," said Carmel resident, David Hitchcock.

Hitchcock is glad his home missed the Public Safety Power Shutoff by a few miles, but is frustrated PG&E has to do large-scale shutoffs at all. "They haven't done any good so far, that I know of," said Hitchcock.

PG&E said their main goal this year is to make planned shutoffs shorter in length and smaller in size.

PG&E Spokesperson, Mayra Tostado, said they accomplished that during this event by reducing the number of customers impacted from 53,000 to 44,000.

"Thankfully, due to improving weather conditions today, we've been able to begin inspecting lines in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties so we can restore power to our customers," said Tostado.

Tostado said power lines must be inspected for damage before crews can turn them back on. "These are portions of 24 counties and we're talking about thousands of customers that are impacted. We need to visually inspect every single mile, foot by foot, of facilities that were turned off," said Tostado.

In Santa Cruz County, residents who lost power said they understand why PG&E has to do it. Boulder Creek resident, Ted Tahira, said he would rather be safe than sorry. "I think it's necessary with the way things are turning out. It takes the cooperation of everybody," said Tahira.

PG&E has set up community resource centers on the Central Coast for residents without power. It's at the following locations that people can access charging stations, WiFi, snacks and water from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.:

  • Point Sur Naval Facility in Big Sur
  • Carmel Parking Lot in Carmel
    • 9550 Carmel Valley Rd
  • Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Aptos
    • 6401 Freedom Blvd
  • Highlands County Park in Ben Lomond
    • 8500 CA-9
  • St. Michaels Church in Boulder Creek
    • 13005 Pine St

Visit PG&E for up-to-date information on outages.

Monterey County / News / Wildfires / Wildfires

Megan Meier

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

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