Fewer Large Scale Power Outages

July 11, 2008 8:27:29 PM PDT
So far this summer, The Fresno area has seen fewer massive power outages like previous seasons. Businesses in Clovis lost power Thursday afternoon, and it wasn't fully restored until 6 AM on Friday. PG&E hopes to avoid more outages because of a 100-million dollar investment.Jeff Shackelford was on the phone with a friend when he said, "We're gonna give you a free dinner regardless." Shackelford thanked that friend for loaning him generators. That's one way Shackelford kept food cold at his restaurant "Trelio" in Old Town Clovis. Thursday afternoon, a transformer exploded-shutting down power to nearly 150 customers. Shackelford escaped the 16 hour ordeal with a minimal loss. He said, "We lost our business last night. We lost a little bit of product over night but not enough to mention."

Jeff Smith with PG&E said, "Last year during the summer, we experienced more than our fair share of power outages in the Fresno area." Smith said they've invested millions to upgrade the local power supply. With those improvements, he hopes outages like the one in Clovis will be rare. Smith said, "We increase capacity by upgrading our transformers so that the load on those transforms aren't as high. So that the load on those transformers aren't as high. We also upgraded our lines."

But with the extreme heat, Smith said some equipment will eventually fail. Robert Dorn is the owner of "The Cellar" in Old Town Clovis just wants a normal weekend with no surprises. Dorn said, "One occurrence usually doesn't do too much. We usually have lines out here from 50-75 people to come out to the Clovis night life."

But "Salsa's Mexican Grill" remained closed Friday. Health Department officials say temperatures in a large refrigerator may have climbed too high, making the food unsafe to eat. Salsa's was also shut down because they disconnected their hot water supply. PG&E attributes increased conservation as another reason why we haven't seen more widespread outages.
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