Santa Rosa businesses feel the stress of PG&E power shutoffs

Bay Area

SANTA ROSA (KRON) — A blackout will not stop Everest Indian restaurant from hosting a big birthday party.

All the food was prepared by hand and in the dark Wednesday because PG&E turned off the power.

“We are a small business, family owned and it is really hard to survive,” said the restaurant’s owner, Gopal Gauchan.

With windy weather and high fire danger, PG&E put sections of Santa Rosa in the dark again.

It appeared several schools were in the outage area and would need to close.

Late on Tuesday, PG&E notified the district that only Maria Carrillo High School, would be impacted.

According to the assistant superintendent, it’s hard to plan when the information keeps changing.

“We get piecemeal updates from a number of PG&E contacts that don’t always align which makes the decision making process more difficult,” Assistant Superintendent Rick Edson said.

“Obviously this is not a popular program.”

The power shut off forced many businesses to close.

PG&E told KRON4 that it cast a wide net for the fifth round of shutoffs and as the weather changed, the utility scaled back.

“We would much rather cast a wide net because planning is key,” PG&E spokesperson Deanna Contreras said. 

Planning meant purchasing a generator for Everest because while the owner might be an unhappy PG&E customers, the birthday customer still gets a celebration.

“I hope they will be happy,” the restaurant owner said.

PG&E plans to look at wires on Thursday for any damage and then start to turn the power on right after.

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