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Northern California families define their 'new normal' amid power shutoffs, fires

On the heels of PG&E's third power shutoff and fire evacuations happening across the state, families across the area are starting to gain a new definition of normal.

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. — Dealing with power shutoffs, fire evacuations and stress at an all-time high across Northern California, there has been quite a bit of talk over the past few weeks from people asking: is this is our new normal?

Stephanie Brassill, Smartsville

Brassill spent Saturday through Tuesday afternoon without power at her family's home in Smartsville. This is the third PG&E power shutoff she's experienced.

"Well, I hope it’s not continuous blackouts," she said. "Not knowing if the power is going to turn off again. We buy $150 worth of food again and it just goes to waste."

RELATED: Kincade Fire in Sonoma County at 60% containment, growth stopped

Madonna Tavares, Geyserville

Tavares evacuated her Geyserville home last Thursday because of the Kincade Fire. 

“People cannot live like this all the time because you never know what’s going on. You’re on alert 24/7... it’s not good," Tavares said. 

Tavares is concerned about future evacuations living in the hills of Geyserville

“It’s a scary situation because we’re going to go home and probably have to do this all over again. I told my husband, I'm not dealing with this anymore. I can’t do this," Tavares said.

Sherry Carter, Clearlake Oaks

Carter has also been without power since Saturday.

"And now we’re having fires like crazy and PG&E is constantly shutting the power off now. How are people supposed to live?" Carter said. 

She said she's heard about more fires in California in the last 10 years than she's heard in her entire life.

RELATED: California nursing home patients had minutes to flee fire

Carter, who uses an oxygen tank, said she hasn't been able to use it because there's no electricity. If she continues to go much longer without her oxygen, she worries she'll wind up back in the hospital.

Melissa Vick, Penn Valley

Vick said the power shutoffs have been hard financially. 

"I still have my bills to pay, and I can’t do that unless I’m working. It’s tough," she said. "It’s my second time here filling up my gas can to make sure I have enough gas for the generator when I get home today." 

Brittany Yearout, Grass Valley

Yearout has been feeding her kids peanut butter sandwiches everyday while they stay home from school during the power shutoffs.

"I was scared to buy groceries, I didn’t want to waste the money," Yearout said. 

Amid power shutoffs, the fear of fire danger continues to rise.

A lot of people ABC10 spoke with said they expect this to become their new normal as PG&E has said it could take 10 to possibly 15 years to fully repair their power grid and bring it back up to speed.


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WATCH ALSO: PG&E Power Shutoffs: Gov. Gavin Newsom says this cannot become the new normal for California

California Governor Gavin Newsom addressed the PG&E Power Shutoffs that affected millions of people, saying this cannot become the new normal.