SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — In San Jose, as thousands prepare for parts of the city to go dark due to planned PG&E power outages, one man is preparing to simply stay alive.
Arthur Aragon, a U.S. Air Force veteran, said he suffers from sleep apnea and uses a ventilator while he sleeps.
“Without it I stop breathing,” he said.
But Aragon also can’t walk and is in a wheelchair.
“I need power to charge my chair, so I went and bought a generator today,” said Aragon.
He is one of 105 veterans at the Veteran’s Housing Facility in San Jose that is expected to be impacted by the massive PG&E power shutoff.
On Tuesday, San Jose city leaders announced they’d learned that the Almaden Valley as well as the foothills along the Diablo range would be in the dark starting Wednesday around noon. The Veteran’s Housing Facility in Alum Rock is in the affected area.
“So we just started scrambling,” said the facility’s case manager Traci Pickett. “There’s a few people that are nervous about what’s going to happen; we have a generator here for this building so we’re able to cook so we’re able to take care of breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Pickett said they were forced to rent a 53-foot refrigerator to save the food stored in 15 freezers. They plan to load the food Wednesday before the power is expected to shut off around noon.
She said some veterans decided to leave the area altogether during the outage, but others like Aragon who must stay made sure when the power goes out they’re ready to live in the dark.
For Aragon, that means life or death.
“I don’t like it at all, I don’t think it’s fair,” Pickett said. “PG&E is just trying to avoid another lawsuit, I mean I don’t know how else to put it…but I don’t think this is the way to go, I really don’t.”
She said all they can do now is hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
“I was just concerned, what are we going to do with the veterans? Because these are our guys,” Pickett said.