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Forgotten in a flurry of PG&E service calls

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POSTED October 14, 2009 2:05 a.m.
It was a night for a cozy fire after work in our family room since our PG&E provided electricity had been out for 14 hours at this writing Tuesday night and we’re still waiting.

The very courteous service supervisor told us at 7 p.m. that some 266,000 of their customers were without power – not mentioning that most of Ripon had power with the exception of our home and three of our neighbors.

Four of us lost power when the wires wrapped around each other above a back yard sometime near 6 a.m. tripping the switch in the transformer on the power pole.  That made for cereal by candle light as well as shaving with the same mode – no real problem. What made it interesting was keeping track of our 3-year-old grandson who is with us for the week.

We called in the outage about 7 a.m. and within an hour a spirited crew was at the front door saying the trees in a neighbor’s back yard, as well as ours, had to be trimmed before they could flip the transformer switch back into an on position.  They told us we needed to be more aware of the trees and their need for maintenance – however, PG&E sends their own contract tree service personnel on a regular basis who are on top of that need.

The first quick response was followed by the tree trimmers within two hours.  A PG&E supervisor told us at the front door that once the trees were taken care of they would pull a lineman off of another job and get our power restored since they were aware my wife had an appointment in San Jose.

Having covered storm stories all day it was a relief to get home for a hot shower and dry clothes.  It was a surprise to find our house still dark without electricity.  My call to the service center told me the outage hadn’t been reported until 4:30 in the afternoon.  That was wrong by over nine hours.

So after talking with the company representative around 7 p.m., showering with a flashlight and fixing my dinner on the gas stove in a sauce pan, it was back to work to finish typing my stories and downloading numerous fire photographs.

Obviously the thought of a cozy fire with my two dogs vanished as a momentary thought with a dimmed expectation of having electricity flowing back into our home by Wednesday morning.  After all there were 266,000 homes without power besides us – they just weren’t homes in our neighborhood or for that matter within the Ripon city limits.
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