OAKHURST, California (KSEE) – PG&E confirms more than 20,000 customers in parts of Madera, Fresno and Mariposa Counties are in the dark as the utility company continues safety shutoffs amid high-wind events.
This outage map is from the PG&E website. The highlighted regions represent areas affected by the blackouts.
Those who live in the mountain communities are feeling the impact of the fires and these blackouts across the state.
Even the KSEE24 signal is impacted by the outage for DirecTV customers and those who receive our signal over an antenna.
The Madera County Sheriff’s substation opened its doors to locals and tourists to charge any electronic devices.
But many just wanted to know when the power would turn back on.
The dozens of flashing traffic lights were the first sign of the power outage in Oakhurst.
There were also signs with the words “closed due to power outage” that hanged in the windows at a number of stores.
It’s an eerie feeling for Stacy and Dave Farrar.
“After we finished hiking we started coming into town and every single place was closed we pull up and it was close we pulled up and it was dark and so we didn’t know Vons was a supermarket until we saw the pumpkins and so we were like ‘we got to stop,'” Farrar expressed.
The couple is visiting from Chicago and just got in on Saturday. They say they got a heads up about the power going out but still were not sure what to expect.
Photos show the inside of Vons. Even though they have a generator the majority of the lights were off.
“We were wandering around with our flashlights on trying to find certain foods,” Farrar explained.
Jerry Rankin lived in Oakhurst more than 30 years. He says even though mountain folks are prepared for fire season, the PG&E power shutoff is something new.
“It’s not easy because of course with communication methods go out when the power goes out,” he says.
Rankin and many other locals took advantage of the Madera County Sheriff’s substation off Highway 49, on Liberty Drive, opening its doors allowing them to charge their electronic devices.
But Rankin wants more answers from PG&E.
“You sort of get the feeling that maybe they’re just trying to get back a little bit at the government and for their own situation that they’re in now with bankruptcy,” he expressed.
We’re hearing the the power could come back on Monday afternoon but deputies say it could be as late as Tuesday.
Deputies say if you or someone you know need medical assistance, want a welfare check on someone who lives in the foothills or have questions, don’t hesitate to give them a call at 559-675-7770.