BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — A Public Safety Power Shutoff is issued for thousands of people in Kern County and many are without power tonight.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company have confirmed that 4,000 people have had their power shut off and it is currently unknown how long the outage will last.
Mary Jones and Kathy Vanhoorelbeke say that their power has been shut off since 10 a.m. Thursday morning.
"I am never pleased with PG&E and this is interrupting us and if it stays off for five to six hours that’s bad," said Jones.
Jones and Vanhoorelbeke are a part of the 4,000 people without power due to the forecasted severe wind event.
The shutoff is expected to affect hundreds of thousands of people across California.
"We didn’t anticipate it today," said Vanhoorelbeke. "We have gotten notices the last few days that it would be shut off due to high winds and there have been no high winds in this area."
Later the two received this text message from PG&E around 10:30 a.m. stating, "due to weather forecast PG&E may turn off the power on 10/10/2019. "
A spokesperson for PG&E, Katie Allen, explained why some areas are impacted and others are not.
"I know its difficult for our customers to understand why their power is out if they aren’t seeing those high winds or low humidity," said Allen. "It's because of how our system is interconnected and although their area may not be seeing it other areas served by the same electric lines as there’s could be experiencing that type of weather."
Vanhoorelbeke is here for a month helping her blind aunt and says she is worried if this happens again. She fears that her aunt would have never known about the PG&E Alerts.
"I think they need to know where older people are living and maybe they can send someone or call them directly instead of sending a text that there is going to be a power outage," said Vanhoorelbeke.
Both ladies say they have been trying to speak with someone directly at PG&E but have been unable to.
There is a resource center for those who are impacted by the shutoffs located at Buck Owens Crystal Palace during daylight hours only.
The resource center is providing restrooms, bottled water, electronic devices charging ports and air conditioning.
PG&E wants to remind customers to make sure they have updated their notification preferences for shutoffs like this through their website.