Residents prepare for power shutoffs across the county


BEAR VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif. (KGET) – Once again, electric companies are warning Californians that nearly half a million people could lose power Wednesday and Thursday and some Kern County homes and businesses are on both PG&E and Southern California Edison’s lists. 

The latest information from Socal Edison indicates that more than 16,000 Kern County customers are under consideration for having their power cut.

PG&E says its homes and businesses will lose power, expected around 1 a.m. but for only 33 locations in Arvin, Bakersfield and Lebec.

We spoke with the owners of a local market out in Bear Valley Springs who expect to lose power and with that, income.

In Bear Valley Springs, a guarded gated community in the Tehachapi mountains, residents have one option for quick groceries and gas.

But now, due to possible power shutoffs in the area residents may have no other choice but to make the trip down to Tehachapi.

Owners of Country Market were informed this morning that there is a 90 percent chance their power will be shut off tomorrow at 9 a.m. due to fire weather danger. 

“It sucks,” said Sara Martell. “For as long as I can remember we’ve always had wind up here. It’s hard for the business, we have to shut down.” 

Country Market not only closes the store, but they lose all their refrigerated items. They don’t have a backup generator.

“We try to keep things as cool as possible, we keep all the doors closed, we put whatever we can in ice and things we can’t save we end up throwing away,” said Martell.

They say they are working with Socal Edison for help to get a generator but,

“Because of all the power outages we were told the earliest we can someone out here is January first,” said Martell.

During the last shutoff, that lasted two days for them, they estimate a total loss of $15-18,000 in sales. So the thought of having this become a regular thing is very concerning.

“It’s really unfortunate to have the power shutoff every time we have bad weather, we’ve always had bad weather,” said Martell. “We have snowstorms, wind storms, we’ve always had bad weather. For this to become a regular thing, I don’t know how necessary it is.”

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