Contact 17: Resident upset over planned power outage in heat

Sandy Blackburn wants to know why PG&E is shutting off her power in the summer heat.
BAKERSFIELD, CA - Sandy Blackburn contacted 17 News. She wants to know why PG&E is shutting off her power in the summer heat.

With triple digit temperatures, air conditioning and fans are a must for most people.

Power outages are always an inconvenience, but throw in the hot weather and it could be down right dangerous.

According to PG&E, this is critical maintenance.

Residents in one southwest Bakersfield neighborhood were sent a letter June 27th detailing the planned outage. But, residents say this is not the best time to shut off the power.

"We have a lot of elderly people in our neighborhood. We have people that, you know, there's a person on dialysis with health concerns. Kids are out of school right now, so to me, it's just really bad timing," said PG&E customer Sandy Blackburn.

Residents say they will have to endure the heat all day, and they feel it should have been better planned.

PG&E tells 17 News, this work has been scheduled and the utility provided advanced notice to the people affected, so they could make plans in advance.

"We understand this is an inconvenience to customers. We are working to do this as quickly as possible. But, this is work that really needs to get done to ensure the safety and reliability for the system. Like I said, not only for these customers, but customers throughout the area," said Tracy Correa , PG&E Spokesperson.

Tracy Correa says the utility is working on an underground transformer, and the work is critical, so rescheduling is not possible.

One resident understands the need for system upkeep, but is upset by something else.

"I didn't know I was going to come home and see they tore my hedges all up, had hoses all across, laying across the top, breaking branches. I have been growing these things for 20 years," said James Wofford, another PG&E customer.

PG&E says sometimes equipment is buried beneath a customer's yard, but it will work with them to fix any damage caused by the work.
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