Law enforcement agencies across Santa Cruz County are warning drivers of potential dangers on the road ahead of PG&E's planned power outages.
"I actually just found out only two hours ago at work. I need to make my calls and figure out a solution," said Santa Cruz resident, Ava Stewart.
Stewart filled up her tank, Wednesday afternoon, to make it to the San Jose airport. She admitted she worries the outages could alter her commute if stop lights go dark. "I guess you would just wait for each car to go, but not everybody is going to do that. There is going to be some sort of cluster at some point," said Stewart.
Santa Cruz CHP sent out a county-wide warning on Facebook, but even cities outside of the predicted PG&E outage zones are chiming in. The Santa Cruz Police Department is prepared with extra staff just in case. "If you're driving and come to a signal that's out, please stop and treat it like a stop sign. We will have extra staff on board if there is a particular intersection or some problem that creates a significant hazard," said Santa Cruz Police Department Deputy Chief, Dan Flippo.
Flippo said the city has back up generators to power lights at major intersections for a full 12 hours. More rural areas without generators are to be navigated with more caution. "If you don't have a reason to be out, just stay home. If you are driving, give yourself the time to get where you're going," said Flippo.
Felton resident, Chris Carloni, plans to take it slow during his commute. He is in a rush to get a generator to his restaurant before they sell out, but said safety will always come first. "I work until late. I'll be out driving around. Hopefully the roads will be safe," said Carloni.