Update: 1:30 a.m. 10/11/19
Even as some people are getting their power returned, thousands of other PG&E customers are without power, and frustration continues to grow.
PG&E field crews have taken the brunt of public outrage as a the Public Safety Power Shutoff disrupts people's lives across Northern California.
In a news conference, PG&E CEO Bill Johnson said his employees have been, punched, shot at, and had profanity used against them.
Authorities with CHP are even investigating an incident where a marked PG&E vehicle was shot at in Colusa County.
A viral post shared by the families of PG&E workers is calling for people to be civil toward these field crews as they try to restore power to the communities. Amid the tensions, it attempts to remind people that the crew workers are also affected by the power shutoff and have families they care about.
The post has been shared more than 41,000 times.
Update 9 p.m.
Placer County was among the counties that received an "all clear" from PG&E at around 3:30 in the afternoon for inspectors to check all power lines.
ABC10’s Lilia Luciano followed inspectors in Auburn as they traced the path of lines through windy roads.
At a certain juncture, the car can't continue the path of the power lines, so inspectors got off the truck and hiked through the brush, making sure lines were clear from anything the wind could have blown on them that can represent a fire hazard.
A spokesperson for PG&E said they have more than 6,300 line crews doing the work and they have already identified areas that could have caused trouble had they not been cleared before they restored power.
To clear lines, crews can use a series of devices they have in their trucks or may need to call for assistance. Whenever crews can't physically reach an area on foot, they call one of the 44 helicopters PG&E has servicing the area.
Update 8 p.m.
PG&E CEO Bill Johnson says if future wind events require similar shutoffs, the utility will "do better."
Johnson said it's unacceptable that the PG&E website crashed, maps were inconsistent and call centers were overloaded.
About 228,000 customers have had their power restored, officials said, but more than 350,000 are still without as of 8 p.m.
Thursday evening, PG&E officials said conditions have calmed enough to turn the electricity back on in parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sierra foothills and Humboldt County.
Officials say crews have found multiple cases of damage caused by heavy winds, including branches that fell on overhead lines that could have ignited if they were energized.
Update 6:30 p.m.
People are making do with what they have or don’t have in one North Vacaville neighborhood.
Rick Higgs told ABC10’s Lena Howland that he has been without power for two days.
"It's really an inconvenience. It’s like camping in the yard and then at night, it gets really dark because you have no lights," Higgs said.
Luckily, he had a generator that he said he’s been using sparingly.
"You kind of run them in cycles. You’ve gotta conserve your gasoline so you’ve gotta have enough of that around because gas stations don’t have power. They can’t pump. So, you gotta prepare for a lot of stuff," he said.
But Higgs’ neighbors aren’t so lucky. Jim Zeiger has spent the past two days in the dark, trying to get his back-up generator up and running again, without much luck.
“It’s been sitting for a long time and so I go to get it and it won’t start. So, I’m trying to get it going, figure out what’s wrong with it, otherwise we have candles to light the house," Zeiger said.
“Others are really having a struggle because they’re so used to having technology to help them. But for me, it’s been fine,” said Michelle McGilvary, a 6th grade teacher at Ochard Elementary School.
Orchard Elementary School doesn’t have power either, yet they’re choosing to keep their doors open.
“It keeps learning happening. It keeps your routine going. And children, for the most part, are better in routine," McGilvary said.
“We haven’t been using technology, but we’ve been making it work. We’ve been using papers and all of that. It’s like a normal day, we’ve just all worked together and helped each other out with it. If we can’t see, we help each other read," said 6th grader Chloe Rippey.
Everyone ABC10 spoke with said they were keeping their hopes up that the lights will come back on soon.
Update 6 p.m.
Food in freezers and refrigerators has spoiled. Residents have had to buy generators the fuel needed to run them. People throughout Northern California are now asking if they’ll be compensated for losses incurred during PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).
The short answer is: no.
PG&E has a public policy of not reimbursing customers for losses during PSPS.
"When we do these shutoffs for safety, we typically do not reimburse for claims," PG&E spokesperson Brandi Merlo said.
Merlo also told ABC10 people are welcome to submit a claim and they would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Yet, the historical precedent for compensation doesn’t exist.
Read more that the link below.
Update 4:15 p.m.
JR Ranch is in the midst of its second straight day without power. It’s bad enough that the owners don’t have power, but it’s also challenging for the animals at the ranch.
“We’re definitely going through some changes as far as accommodating everything, making things still work here for the horses especially,” Richard Rudis, the owner of the ranch, told ABC10's Kevin John.
“They need water and the well, which is run by a pump, needs electricity to pump the water. So, we had to change over to irrigation water, which is filling up all of their water feeders for now,” Rudis continued.
Rudis’ ranch sits on five acres and he and his wife care for 12 horses. Three of the horses belong to them, and the other nine they take care of through their boarding business.
“The owners, these horses are their babies. They’re entrusting us to make sure that they’re well taken care of, so a lot of them did have concerns over that, and I told them about Plan B with the irrigation water and they know that we’re on top of it,” Rudis explained.
While the ranch has been able to function just fine without power, Rudis is counting the hours until the power comes back on.
“I understand that it’s not PG&E‘s fault, but it’s aggravating, really aggravating,” Rudis said.
Update 3:30 p.m.
Smoky skies over the Sacramento Valley and in the Sierra Foothills has some residents, understandably, on high alert.
Today ABC10 is using the newly integrated GOES-17 Satellite high-resolution visible satellite imagery. It is showing a distinct smoke plume near Kirkwood pushing directly into the Folsom, Roseville, and Sacramento areas.
This lines up with the US Forest Service Caples Prescribed Fire going along Highway 88 near Kirkwood.
This is being done along the northern ridge above Caples Creek called the Caples Ecological Restoration Project. Fire management teams have been starting control burns for the last 10 days.
In preparation of the wind event, firefighters secured the perimeter edge to prevent further spread.
Read more at the link below.
Update 2 p.m.
A fire burning just to the near Vacaville has been halted, according to Solano County Fire.
The so-called Orange Drive Fire started near Leisure Town Road and Orange Drive along Interstate 80. That fire went out as a two-alarm call. However, just after 2 p.m., officials said they had stopped its progress.
The fire burned approximately four acres of land right next to a mobile home park. Thankfully, firefighters got things under control before nay homes were seriously threatened.
A Cal OES strike team in the area was able to respond quickly to this fire, which may have ultimately kept things from potentially getting much worse.
Update 12:30 p.m.
As PG&E's power shutoffs continue for a second day across Northern California, business owners in Nevada City — a popular tourist destination in Nevada County — say they are taking a big economic hit after a full day without electricity.
PG&E cut power Wednesday morning to some 24,000 customers in Nevada County, leaving residents of Nevada City in the dark. The outages forced closures to most businesses on Broad Street, which runs in the heart of the city. Owners of restaurants were forced to have generators running all day to keep food from going to waste.
Jahangir Ali, the owner of Bonanza Market on Broad Street, decided to keep his store open during the outage, but was forced to open later and close early.
“We usually open at 6 a.m., but yesterday we opened at 8 a.m. and closed at 5 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.,” Ali explained to ABC10.
For 12 years, Ali's grocery store has lived in the heart of what’s considered Nevada City's Downtown — near hotels, restaurants and Airbnbs. He says he’s lost thousands of dollars in just two days.
- PG&E power shutoffs: Millions still in the dark on day 2 of outages
- PG&E power shutoffs community impacts, traffic conditions, weather updates
- Placerville parties on through PG&E power outages
According to Visit California, tourism has generated millions of dollars for Nevada County and the state of California. In 2018, the county say more than $360 million in visitor spending, over $114 million in food service industry and more than 3,500 jobs were generated to accommodate tourism.
"Customers can’t use credit or debit cards — only cash," Ali explained. "Or they just don’t come in, because they think we are closed. It’s outrageous." Ali added that he's lost additional money from frozen foods going bad.
Now, on the second day of outages, Ali believes things will only get worse if the outages continue into the weekend.
“We are a tourist city — we rely on tourists spending," Ali said. "I’m not the only one affected. Restaurants are closed. PG&E is screwing us."
Ali said he and other business owners in the area expect to be without power for the rest of the week, but hopes lights come on by Friday morning or afternoon, which is when most tourists start coming into the city.
“If [power doesn’t come back on], lord knows what will happen," Ali said. "It will be a ghost town here."
- These schools will be closed due to PG&E power shutoffs
- Find your PG&E Community Resource Center, opened for customers affected by power shutoffs
- How to keep food safe and cold during a power outage
FREE ABC10 APP:
►Stay In the Know! Sign up now for ABC10's Daily Blend Newsletter
WATCH MORE: FIRE - POWER - MONEY