CALISTOGA (KRON) – Last October, Calistoga was one of the first communities to see the lights go out during a public safety power shutoff.
“All the businesses were down and the hotels and restaurants,” Andee Beresini said.
“The whole community is really, kind of paralyzed without power,” Margaux Singleton said.
Unlike Santa Rosa and Napa and other North Bay cities, you can’t turn the power off in Calistoga’s high-risk fire areas in the foothills and leave the power on in Calistoga’s downtown area, which has a low fire risk.
“It’s basically one switch that shuts off the entire city. You can’t divide it,” Mayor Chris Canning said.
Since last October, the mayor and other city leaders have been working with PG&E to devise a plan which will allow the lights to stay on downtown.
They came up with a permanent generator.
“Once the permanent generator is up during a PSPS, it would be able to power two-thirds of our city, primarily residential areas, but also our downtown,” Mayor Canning said.
The permanent generator is still several months off, but city officials say a temporary generator at Calistoga’s substation will be used in the meantime to keep the lights on.
Business owners say it will make a huge difference.
“It will keep us in business and from losing our entire inventory,”
Those in Calistoga are hoping a public safety power shutoff will not be necessary but if it is, they hope the generator will work and it will keep the lights on in the downtown area.