NewsCovering Kern County


PG&E restores power to more than 600 in Kern County

PG&E Truck
Posted at 6:27 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 21:27:46-04

Power is back on for more than 600 customers in Kern County after Pacific Gas and Electric issued public safety power shutoffs Tuesday night. 23ABC's Bayan Wang spoke to many customers about how they managed.

Power was restored at about 2 p.m. for all PG&E customers, including those in Lebec. A lot of customers said they have a sense of reprieve now, but some of them had difficulty managing nearly 20 hours with no power.

"No internet. No telephone. No TV."

And no air conditioning, and no lights. Holly Engels and her husband Dennis were one of the hundreds that were affected by the public safety power shutoffs issued from PG&E due to red flag warnings in Kern County mountain communities.

"We're finding it difficult to maneuver through all of this," Engles said.

Lights went out Tuesday night around 7 p.m. In Lebec and were turned back on Wednesday afternoon. The Engels had back-up generators but even so, they had to be tactful of what they chose to power-up.

"This is the oxygen concentrator. This is what makes oxygen for him to breathe on a regular basis," explained Engels. "It's more important that we do the oxygen than lights or things like that in the house."

With no lights, flashlights had to do but they weren't enough for Mr. Engels who had tripped in the living room where wires from the generator covered the floor.

"This morning this was outside," explained Engles, showing some cords scattered around the floor. "It was kind of curled up like that. He walked along and caught his foot."

Others in the neighborhood like Deanna Banks had to keep a close eye on her elderly roommate who depends on her oxygen tank.

"It's been an issue because we haven't been able to turn the oxygen on for the evening and so we've had to use inhalers and other stuff like that for an emergency. So if we have 9-1-1 we have to drive out somewhere. No lights, we had to use candles all night long."

For Mr. Engles, the only thing that there wasn't a shortage of was humor.

"To put it in a simple way, it sucks."

PG&E said for the next seven days they do not anticipate any additional shutoffs but if there are any red flag warning or severe weather conditions the will shut off the power again.