North Fork residents taking the power outage in stride

FRESNO, Calif.

In Mariposa County, nearly 24,000 were in the dark and close to 1,400 had no power in Fresno County. But the foothill and mountain communities of Madera County were the worst off, with more than 8,300 customers in the dark.

In North Fork, nearly 1,500 customers were without power Tuesday evening. Some have been told it could be Sunday before power is restored to the area. In the meantime, they are doing what they can to just get by.

Inside Slim's Koffee Shack Tuesday evening, a few people gathered for food, drinks, and wi-fi, all powered by a generator. "I got a little antsy and decided to come and see who was hanging around and socialize a little bit," said North Fork resident Matt Kubiak.

A new hum can be heard in the mountain communities known for solitude and scenic views: the sound of generators. We caught up with Victor Caldwell as he bought gas for his generator at home. "That should get me through Saturday. I want to make sure I have enough fuel," said Caldwell.

North Fork's Pizza Factory also relied on a generator and flashlights to continue serving pizzas Tuesday. But employees didn't know how long they could remain open without power. "There's not a lot of dough left for pizzas and stuff like that. Without it, there would just be sandwiches and pastas because we're low on supplies and we can't make more, obviously," said employee Matt Ruddock.

A grocery store without a generator lost all of its refrigerated items but stayed open, even in the dark. Some residents said they were also in the dark about when they could expect power to return. "I haven't heard anything. I just have a crank radio, so I haven't heard anything," said North Fork resident Derek Lavella.

Still, many are taking the outage in stride. "I'm all set. I'm happy. It's an adventure. It's why I live in the mountains. I would never live anywhere else," said Victor Cardwell.

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