San Jose

PG&E Customers in San Jose Neighborhood Question Frequency of Power Outages

NBC Universal, Inc.

In one San Jose neighborhood, thousands of PG&E customers say their power keeps going out and the utility has left them in the dark about why it's happening.

The most recent outage in the Graystone neighborhood happened Monday night and it impacted more than 3,000 customers. PG&E said the outage was caused by a tree hitting a power line and triggering an automatic shutoff of nearby power lines.

In a statement, the utility said, "Our Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings have proven very effective in preventing ignitions that could lead to wildfires…PG&E is working hard to reduce the outages and increase the resources available to affected customers."

Residents said they understand the need to prevent fires, but they question why they've had to face so many blackouts and if they were all necessary.

PG&E confirmed that there have been five power outages in the area since May 25, affecting about 1,500 to 3,000 customers each time, often leaving them in the dark for hours.

During Monday night's outage, most homeowners didn't have electricity for more than three hours.

"I didn't have AC for four hours," Carol Jameson said.

Jameson said she was worried about keeping her medications cold.

"My insulin has to be in the refrigerator, so I don't dare open the refrigerator because I don't want the temperature to go down," she said.

Claudia Weller said the outage knocked her internet service offline and left her trying to get it restored.

"The biggest impact [was] I had a class scheduled on Zoom and I had to cancel," Weller said.

Jameson said she's now considering shelling out $10,000 for a generator.

"Because I want to live my life in comfort," she said. "I don’t want to have to worry about my medicine."

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