Manteca is scrambling to get an emergency plan in place after being told by PG&E they will cut off electricity to the entire city for up to five days when conditions in high risk areas in the Sierra in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties warrant it during the upcoming wildfire season.
Manteca Fire Chief Kyle Shipherd advised the City Council Tuesday PG&E contacted the city to tell them the transmission line that serves Manteca will be de-energized for up to five days when high winds and conditions make the start of destructive wildfires more likely. Had the policy — in response to the November fire in Butte County that killed 85 people and burned 14,000 homes as well as 5,000 additional structures that the company concedes, and state fire officials contend, improperly maintained power lines triggered — been in place for the past two years Manteca would have experienced three complete blackouts ranging from one to five days.
The warning is also being issued to other valley cities that are far from wildfire prone areas but are along transmission lines that serve such areas.
Manteca’s just 10-15 miles up the road from where I used to live.
Five days without power – that means no air conditioning in the summer where it’s typically 100+ degrees for 30 days or more days at a time. No food refrigeration, no AC, no fans… and this is in a state where people are too damned stupid to take a cold shower to cool off. Oh wait, I forgot – water there is too precious to waste on using it to keep from heatstroking, and that’s if there’s enough power to pump it to their houses.