Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Eureka, County Seek Info on Impacts of Shutdown While Newsom Wants PG&E to Pay

Posted By on Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 10:47 AM

click to enlarge Eureka and the county of Humboldt want to hear from you about last week's power shutdown. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Eureka and the county of Humboldt want to hear from you about last week's power shutdown.
The city of Eureka and the county of Humboldt are asking residents to help officials assess the economic damages and impacts to families as a result of PG&E’s Oct. 9 shutdown of the power grid.

The blackout was what is known as a “public safety power shutoff,” a mechanism enacted by PG&E when certain weather outlooks arise — in last week’s case dry conditions and strong winds — that substantially increase the risk of a devastating wildfire.

According to a release from Eureka, the city is seeking the information via email reports because it is “pursuing a State Emergency Declaration that may in turn offer assistance to those businesses that incurred a loss.”

“Even if Eureka is not successful in securing the Emergency Declaration, we would like to know what this loss of power cost each of our businesses,” the city’s release states.

The county’s survey, which is available online (click here), is more extensive and looks to measure not just economic losses, but also how residents found out about the shutdown and how prepared they were, as well as how they were able to receive information during the outage.

Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom has sent a letter to PG&E urging the company to pay $100 per residential customer and $250 per small business “as some compensation for their hardships,” according to a release from his office.

“Californians should not pay the price for decades of PG&E’s greed and neglect,” Newsom says in the release. “PG&E’s mismanagement of the power shutoffs experienced last week was unacceptable. We will continue to hold PG&E accountable to make radical changes — prioritizing the safety of Californians and modernizing its equipment.”

Read the Eureka release below:
The City of Eureka is asking all businesses to provide the City with a report regarding estimated losses related to PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shut-off. Eureka is pursuing a State Emergency Declaration that may in turn offer assistance to those businesses that incurred a loss. Even if Eureka is not successful in securing the Emergency Declaration, we would like to know what this loss of power cost each of our businesses.

Please e-mail an estimate of the losses your business sustained due to the power outage. Include the name of your business, address and amount of financial loss of either product or revenue due to the outage. This information will be used to establish an overall loss sustained by businesses and government during the Public Safety Power Shut-off.

Information can be emailed to:
Swan Asbury, Economic Development
sasbury@ci.eureka.ca.gov

Facebook post from the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services:
Humboldt County is powered up and back in business! Please keep an eye out for a survey that will be posted on the county website and linked here. We would like to hear from the community about how the power outage affected your family and/or business, and how we can improve preparedness and communication efforts.
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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