Santa Nella mobile home park to get power turned on

September 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
State Assembly Member Adam Gray told residents of a Santa Nella mobile home park that he is close to getting their power turned back on.

More than 30 homes in the mobile home park lost power on Aug. 12 when a house fire destroyed several electrical panels that powered their homes.

A PG&E spokesman has said all along that it is up for the homeowners to pay for repairs. That could cost up to $78,000 according to Gray and none of the residents can afford to pay the price.

The assemblyman threw a Labor Day cook for mobile home park residents Monday evening. Afterwards, he updated them on the progress his staff has made. He says his office is working with several groups that may be able to help repair the panels.

"The electrical workers union, IBW-684, has suggested they might be able to help with donating some labor. The contractors association folks might be able to help by donating some of their work," Gray said.

"The electrical parts manufactures may be able to pitch-in towards getting the cost of this project and getting this mobile home park up and running for residents so we're very close to getting all those resources together for a solution," Gary said.

Gray did not name the parts company but is hopeful the manufacturer will be able to donate the panels or sell it at a discounted price. If there is a cost involved, Gray says there may be state grants that can be used. Gray hopes to hear back from the parts manufacturer in a week.

Residents we're optimistic about Gray's plan.

"I'm very positive about it," Yesenia Galvan said. She has lived in the mobile home park for nearly 10 years. "I know we're going get the help we need."

Many of the homes have been running off generators for three weeks. Many families are borrowing electricity from neighbors that still have them.

"When you have electricity you don't think about what it would be like without it," Galvan said. "You're used to watching TV and doing laundry but when you don't have electricity, you can't do anything."

Resident Diana Martinez says the majority of the residents are determined to stay and tough out the conditions, but says a handful of her neighbors have decided to leave.

"We have some great landlords that say don't pay anything until the power comes back, then you have the greedy ones," Martinez said. "I say if they want half the rent they have to provide you with a generator or some form of electricity and some of them say no."

Gray says the timeline for repairs have varied from weeks to months. But once the panels are repaired, PG&E officials say the power can be switched back on immediately.


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