SDG&E outages leaving some residents in the dark weekly

Posted at 6:17 PM, Sep 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-06 21:17:09-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — SDG&E's efforts to make fire-prone neighborhoods safer is leaving some San Diegans in the dark on a weekly basis.

Tom Solmes has a new Thursday routine at his Alpine home because every Thursday, like clockwork, his power goes off.

"I take every Thursday off to stay home and put gas in my generator, just got back from 45 min trip to get gas," Solmes said. "It's a lot of a hassle."'

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Solmes estimates he's taking a 20 percent pay cut by taking the day off, but can't risk the generator running out of gas.

Despite the revenue loss, he says he's one of the lucky ones here.

"Most people don't have backup power, for them more difficult, at least we have ceiling fans going," said Solmes. 

And because these homes run on wells, outages mean no water. While Solmes says he received notices warning of the outages, some neighbors say they never got theirs and are wondering how many more Thursdays they'll be without electricity. 

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Solmes has been dealing with it for about two months.

"Yes, absolutely, I believe we deserve to see updates and a timeline," he said.

SDGE is working to replace nearly 130 poles in this area, converting them from wood to steel.

The wires are stronger and thicker, spaced out and higher off the ground to reduce the chance of debris getting caught in them. 

The goal is to make them fire-resistant. SDGE say some outages were canceled due to high temperatures and that's delayed the project.

"Last notice said many more outages will be necessary, vague to say the least," according to Solmes.

SDGE says it wants to finish before peak fire season limits their impact on customers. Neighbors like Solmes hope the utility company can make that happen, to put an end to the Thursday routine.