Crews set up at Clovis Rodeo Grounds working to restore power statewide

Kassandra Gutierrez Image
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Crews set up at Clovis Rodeo Grounds working to restore power statewide
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Over 10,000 PG&E customers in the Central Valley have lost power in the past two weeks.

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Atmospheric rivers have been hitting all of California these last two weeks, and over 10,000 of PG&E customers, in the Central Valley alone, have lost power.

That's why the Clovis Rodeo Grounds is filled with dozens of crews.

They will soon be working to restore power for people across California.

Linemen and crews come from all over the country and Canada.

Jake Meeks is the superintendent of Premium Utility Contractor in Ohio.

His crews have had a busy winter so far..

"It does get tough at times when you have a lot of guys that do make sacrifices. We were gone recently over Christmas so you are seeing a lot of guys who were gone on Christmas eve and Christmas day. But a lot of these guys really have a lot of passion for what we do and passion for restoring power," says Jake.

From Clovis, crews are being dispatched across the state to communities along the Central Coast, the Bay Area, or here in Central California.

Linemen typically work 16 hour days with just eight hours to sleep and get ready to do it again the next day.

"Typical day is 6AM to 10 PM, these guys wake up at 6am and grab a breakfast. We have a big safety meeting with everybody to get everyone on the same page to make sure everyone is all eyes and ears and everybody is cut in and ready for a good day's work," Jake explains.

Denny Boyles has worked with PG&E for 13 years.

He says it's the most impactful storm to their grid in recent history.

"It's just the wide scale damage from this series of storms. It's not a localized event, it's hitting every portion of California, every portion of PG&E service territory, with conditions in some areas that have mirrored what you would see after a hurricane." Denny mentions.

Denny says, one of the biggest concerns now are the winds.

"That is one of the things that worries us the most right now. The ground is so saturated from some of this rain that even a healthy tree is at risk if you get a strong enough wind and we are seeing strong enough winds still as the storm moves through."

To view or report a power outage click here.