California's New Reality: Life Without Power

7 min
PG&E transmission lines like these in South San Francisco could be shut down during periods of extreme fire danger.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

California's New Reality: Life Without Power

PG&E says it's cutting power in order to reduce the risk that its equipment sparks another catastrophic wildfire. Now that we are in peak fire season, dry conditions are fueling fire concerns. Cal Fire Spokesman Scott McLean gives us an update on whether conditions across the state.
Guest: Scott McLean 

Paradise Mayor: Shutoffs Are 'Worth It' To Keep People Safe

For many parts of rural California, this isn’t the first time that preventative power outages have disrupted their plans. Butte County was part of PG&E’s phase one shutoffs to reduce the risk of another wildfire like the one that killed 85 people in the town of Paradise last November. Paradise Mayor Jody Jones says residents see the blackouts as something the town will have to get used to.
Reporter: Michelle Wiley-KQED

Fish Market Scrambles To Prepare For Blackout

Public safety power shutoffs aren't cheap for the people affected.
Spoiled food, lost work, and additional child care costs can really add up.  It's bad for businesses too. Michael Wara, an energy expert at Stanford says when all is said and done, the cost could easily make its way into the billions of dollars. A fish market in Half Moon Bay is making extra ice and hopes the outages won't last long.
Reporter: Mary Franklin Harvin-KQED

How Do Hospice Patients Prepare For Power Shutoffs?

Advocates for medically vulnerable people  are concerned about how these planned power outages are affecting those with medical issues. That includes hospice patients who live at home. Most of them depend on electricity to stay comfortable, or to stay alive.
Reporter: April Dembosky-KQED 

Power Shutoffs Familiar To San Diego Residents

While most of the attention on these shutoffs has centered on Northern California, southern parts of our state have also been preparing for potential power outages. San Diego Gas and Electric, which provides power to San Diego County and a sliver of Orange County, has a history of intentional power outages.

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