DANVILLE (KPIX 5) — On top of the daily grind of quarantine life and sheltering in place, more than 200 PG&E customers in Danville also had to deal with a planned power shutoff Thursday.
But for eight hours, the electricity and internet that we are all so heavily relying on these days was offline for 227 customers. PG&E says, despite the shelter-in-place, they still have to get ready for fire season.READ MORE: South Bay Congressman Welcomes Afghan Refugees Arriving in Fremont
“The funny thing is, is when we started to be sequestered, we’re like, ‘Ah, thank goodness it’s not fire season, so the power’s not off.’ Well, guess what? The power’s off,” laughed Danville resident Bill Colston.
Bill and Jennifer Colston’s Thursday work day looked a little different, with a longer lunch break walk than usual.
“My daughter had to go to a friend’s house because she couldn’t do her Zoom,” said Jennifer Colston.
HAPPENING NOW: @PGE4Me is moving forward with its planned power outage in #Danville for maintenance reasons despite the shelter-in-place. 83 customers are without power until 5 tonight. #KPIX #CBSNBayArea pic.twitter.com/SgpB2r6Nn2
— Jackie Ward (@JackieKPIX) April 16, 2020
With no internet or power, they had to make adjustments they’re already familiar with.READ MORE: 4.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Near Los Angeles
“We dealt with this so much during the fires that we’re kind of experts at it now,” said Bill Colston. “We got it taken down multiple times last year. Leave the refrigerator closed, leave the freezer closed, don’t open it.”
PG&E says as part of its ongoing community wildfire safety program, this type of scheduled maintenance work needs to remain on track, whether or not there is a sheltering-in-place because of the coronavirus pandemic. The work is expected to be done in communities across Northern and Central California.
“We know what a hardship this is to our customers and we don’t want to put them through that,” said PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian,” We are only doing the work that has to happen.”
“I think it’s typical PG&E being tone-deaf to what the people want,” said Danville resident Marti Anthony.
Anthony and another long-time Danville resident Rich Avanzino have had their power all day, but empathized with both the people who lost theirs, and with PG&E.
“It’s disappointing, but I do see the logic of trying to protect us from fire danger in the future,” said Avazino.
In the area of Sky Terrace, Highland Drive, and El Dorado Ave, PG&E crews installed a device that can help de-energize distribution circuits should there be high fire danger. The device will also lessen the number of customers impacted by future public safety power shutoffs.MORE NEWS: San Francisco Mayor Defends Criticism After Video Catches Her Dancing Maskless at Night Club
PG&E was notifying customers who will be affected by this type of work by phone or by mail at least a couple days before they turn the power off. The utility said the work is in line with the governor’s priorities ahead of fire season, and is supported by Cal Fire.