Santa Cruz County residents, businesses prepare for PG&E blackouts

PG&E Power Shutoffs

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY (KRON) — Here we go again — that’s what residents in Santa Cruz County are saying as the fill their cars, cans and propane bottles with gas, preparing for PG&E power shutoffs. 

By this time tomorrow, the tell-tale sound of generators will be heard throughout the mountains.

“I am filling up my tanks for my generators and I’ve also got a power pump, a ten-horse power Honda motor that fills from my swimming pool into a big fire pump,” said resident Haley Sage.

Although subject to change, PG&E is projecting that as many as 45,000 customers, almost half of all customers county-wide, could lose power from roughly saturday evening to as late as Monday afternoon. 

“If you had power go out last time, you should probably expect it to go out this time with some additional loss, specifically in the city of Santa Cruz,” said Jason Hoppin, Santa Cruz County communications manager. “The only relatively safe area is in the city of Watsonville at this point.”

Generators will power work stations and allow staff to continue providing services here at the county’s main medical facilities on Emeline Street. 

The county is also planning to use generators to power traffic lights at a few key intersections. 

Meantime, water managers are calling on the public to conserve.

“The more water people use, the more energy it takes from our generators to pump water through the system to treat it at the facility and so the less people are using, the less electricity it takes,” said Eileen Cross with the Santa Cruz Water Department

As he pumped gas for a steady stream of customers on friday, Shell Manager Talen Saei said the station itself ran out of gas last time around.  

“Yes we did, we weren’t ready, so that’s why we ran out in two days, so this time, we are more ready,” Saei said.

He says that won’t happen this time.

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