SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — A neighborhood in the East Foothills of San Jose has been on edge all day Wednesday, waiting to see if the power would stay on or be cut off.
Neighbors initially started getting text and phone messages that the power would be cut off at midnight on Tuesday, then that turned into noon on Wednesday,
Residents say it has been disruptive to say the least.
“I’m a little confused, because they keep delaying when they are going to shut off our power. We’re just like on pins and needleswaiting for it to happen,” said Lily Tenes, who lives near Alum Rock Avenue.
“When life takes away your electricity, barbecue and drink wine,” laughed Darlene Tenes, who is facing the threat of a multi-day power outage with a little bit of humor and a lot of preparation.
She has phones and computers charged, extra ice, extra water, canned foods, flashlights, lanterns and candles on standby.
She also pre-cooked a lot of her meats, eggs and rice.
“That way I can just heat stuff up,” she explained.
It was the same story down the street at the Veterans Housing facility on Kirk Avenue.
Managers and staff gathered at noon Wednesday, ready to launch into emergency mode. But the power stayed on.
Just over 100 vets live in the facility. Many have been homeless with disabilities and special needs. Chef Anita Garner is trying to come up with menus that work no matter what.
“We’re going to have a shrimp boil with a cioppino sauce, but everything’s coming out of a can because we have to cook fast in case the light go out,” Garner said.
Irvin Goodwin runs the facility and worries about losing $9,000 worth of food.
He rented a 50-foot freezer trailer Monday to keep everything from spoiling. He also bought a generator to power up resident’s battery powered scooters and medical equipment.
“I think we’re equipped enough to handle anything up to a certain amount of time,” Goodwin said.
For Marine veteran Simone Gardenhire, who was homeless and had to live out of a van, the threat of a prolonged power outage brings an unwelcome feeling of deja vu.
“I lived like that for a year,” said Gardenhire, who served in the Marines in the 1970’s and 80’s. “My number one tip is just to make sure that you have food that doesn’t perish.”