What it's costing Santa Cruz County during the power shut off

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A number of local governments in California have declared a state of emergency in hopes of getting some compensation from the state or PG&E, following the large amount of money spent during the PG&E preemptive shut off.

As of Friday, Santa Cruz County does not plan to follow suit, but say this week has been a financial burden on the county.

"There's a lot that goes into making a community work that people don't think about including water, sewage, critical facilities and things like that," Santa Cruz county Hoppin said.

Lots of county buildings were on generators during the shut off, including 27 different treatment plants in the sanitary district that had to have power or else there would be a major sewage back up.

When major street lights went out in unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz county, crew had to bring in generators for public safety.

The county hopes PG&E makes sure the confusion of this week doesn't continue if there's future shut offs.

"A lot of the issues we saw in Santa Cruz county including the runs on water, ice and gasoline were due to a lack of information," Hoppin said.

PG&E CEO Bill Johnson admitted during a Thursday evening press conference that the utility thoroughly botched its Public Safety Power Shutoff, apologizing to customers.

"Our website crashed several times. Our maps are inconsistent and maybe incorrect. Our call centers were overloaded," said Johnson. "To put it simply, we were not adequately prepared to support the operational event."

Lots of small businesses we talked to took a hit, like Heavenly Road Side Cafe off Mt. Herman road, who had to close Thursday.

"It's frustrating really mad at the guy that are running the show at PG&E," owner Danny Voutos said.

Friday, the cafe's power turned back on and turned back into a bustling restaurant, but the owner says in addition to losing a day of business they're not properly stocked up for a busy weekend ahead.

San Jose's mayor says the shut off cost their city half a million dollars and want PG&E to pay for it, but right now its unclear what the chances are of that happening.

"Whether that materializes? I'm skeptical," Hoppin said.




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