Massive power outage in California to prevent deadly wildfires


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Over in California, about a million people could have their power shut off to prevent deadly wildfires. Pacific Gas and Electric is defending its position to shut down the power, saying it is the last resort in a state with wildfire risk.

They say expected high winds during the next few days could potentially spark wildfires due to faulty lines.

“We understand the inconvenience to our customers but this is a severe weather event with critical fire risk,” said Deanna Contreras with Pacific Gas and Electric.

People headed to stores Tuesday to stock up on food, ice, propane and anything else that may get them through the upcoming power outage.

“At work today, there was a pamphlet – here [are] some of the things to do, like make sure you close your refrigerator so food keeps cool. Keep the portable battery packs in order to have power,” said California resident Matthew Ignao, who has Hawaii ties.

Ignao lives in San Mateo County, one of the 34 counties where power is getting shut off. He said he only found out Monday that the power outage was happening on Wednesday.

“I think that it could have been better communicated to the customers,” said Ignao.

Some could be without electricity for days, because power lines have to be inspected before power is restored.

“San Francisco is a place that’s not going to be affected at all. Some people are like, ‘Oh you can use my house and go to it.’ People are reaching out in order to give our help,” said Ignao.

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