Sunday, October 27, 2019

California Is Burning

This story does not come from a satirical website-- see previous post. It’s from the New York Times. It reports on California’s current dilemma. Fires raging out of control. No electricity:

HEALDSBURG, Calif. — Popular downtown boutiques and farm-to-table restaurants were deserted in Healdsburg, Calif., by Saturday afternoon. Traffic ground to a halt in downtown Windsor, where lines for gas stations spilled into gridlocked roadways. The county fairgrounds in Santa Rosa once again morphed into a disaster base camp.
Even an evacuation center in Sonoma County had to be evacuated.

Two years after the devastating Tubbs fire killed 22 people in the region, officials were taking no chances with the menacing Kincade fire and the threat of high winds that could spread the flames overnight. County officials ordered the mandatory evacuations of nearly 90,000 people on Saturday, and Pacific Gas and Electric announced it would shut off power for almost a million customers in Northern California.

“The next 72 hours are going to be challenging,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference on Saturday afternoon. “I could sugarcoat it but I’m not. We’re in an anticipatory stage that is rather anxiety inducing.”

State fire officials hoped that by preparing for the worst-case scenario, they could avoid major destruction from the Kincade fire, which has already consumed nearly 26,000 acres and was 10 percent contained as of 6:30 p.m. local time, according to Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency. The fire has so far destroyed 77 structures, including 31 homes, and damaged another 14 structures, the authorities said….

PG&E said it would begin cutting power to 940,000 homes and businesses — which could affect as many as 2.7 million people — on Saturday afternoon and that residents should plan to spend at least two days without electricity. Emergency responders warned residents of Marin County — which includes Sausalito, San Rafael, Tiburon and Novato — that power restoration could take up to five days.

The problem seems to have to do with the electric utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, a company that values diversity:

“PG&E is a failure at every level,” said State Senator Jerry Hill, a Bay Area Democrat who said the courts should take control of the company. “PG&E should no longer be allowed to do business in California.”

Mr. Hill, who is the chair of the State Senate’s energy subcommittee, said that roughly 2.5 million to 2.7 million people will lose power when accounting for families and others who share addresses.

At a news conference, Mr. Newsom said PG&E made improvements to some of its operations since a botched power shut-off two weeks ago, when the utility’s website crashed twice and information technology experts from the state were required to help fix the problems. But he said that the utility continued to fail in its communication, and that some customers did not receive notification of the weekend’s blackouts until four hours before they were about to lose power.

The governor also reiterated his frustration with PG&E’s decision to shut off power for hundreds of thousands of customers, rather than the more surgical approach taken by the state’s other two investor-owned utilities, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric.


trigger warning said...

"Jerry Hill, a Bay Area Democrat... said the courts should take control of the company."

Absolutely. Let CA judges run the power company. Please!

David Foster said...

One advantage of Fascism over the that someone else can be blamed for problems of this kind. If the state owned and ran the power system directly, they'd be on the hook. But by leaving it nominally private, they can regulate it and hog-tie it as they will, and a lot of people will still blame the eevil corporation for the problems.

UbuMaccabee said...

David Foster is correct. The leftists can now blame PGE for the policy and personnel they created, but with no accountability for it. PGE will take all the blame and the leftists can stay on offense. And the leftist media will support that charge without question. But if the state owned the power companies outright, we simply would not hear about the failures. Whatever evil befalls CA is good for America. CA is our Venezuela. The faster CA fails, the more instruction it provides to the rest of the country. I’m hoping $1 kw hr by the election and $5 gallon. 5 to 1, baby, 1 in 5, no one here gets out alive.

Anonymous said...

“The next 72 hours are going to be challenging,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference on Saturday afternoon. “I could sugarcoat it but I’m not. We’re in an anticipatory stage that is rather anxiety inducing.”

Right there, we see why the ordinary person loves Trump. Can you imagine him coming out with such language, esp when electricity is cut off? "An anticipatory stage that is rather anxiety-inducing?"

hehehe...He also never uses the corporate and media favorite "move forward on" this or that. Instead, he would just say "do it." Isn't that great?