Some Nevada County neighbors were without power for eight days straight, following another five-day outage. They got power just in time for a Halloween tradition.
Author: Becca Habegger
Published: 11:34 PM PDT October 31, 2019
Updated: 11:43 PM PDT October 31, 2019
NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. — Following more than five days of the latest PG&E power shutoff, some 1,400 customers remained in the dark on Halloween night, the utility said.
Neighbors of Ananda Village in Nevada County got their power restored Thursday afternoon, just two hours before their annual Halloween party.
“Halloween’s always a joyful time, seeing all the kids dressed up and in their costumes,” Ananda Village neighbor Christian Salisbury told ABC10. “Whether we had electricity or not, we were going to have fun.”
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Indeed, a post from Monday on the event’s Facebook page said, “Halloween at Ananda will happen regardless of power situation – just remember your flashlights friends!”
Ananda Village is a 50-year-old meditation and yoga community of more than 200 people nestled in rural Nevada County. It was hit hard by the last three PG&E power outages.
“It was pretty crazy. We really didn’t expect to be without power for as long as we were,” Ananda Village neighbor Gita Matlock told ABC10 at the Halloween festivities. “We went from one power outage to the next without a break, at one point. There were three total.”
Altogether, Matlock and her family went two weeks without power, save for a 24-hour period in between the first and second PG&E shutoff.
That’s why Thursday’s Halloween party was “such relief!” Matlock said. “
The community experiences power outages yearly – as do many parts of rural Northern California.
“You know, a tree falls down on some lines and, oh, power’s out, so we’re used to that, to a certain extent,” Salisbury said. “What we’re not used to is—‘Oh, it’s day three. Oh, it’s day four.’”
Ananda Village neighbor Gopal Sims has a generator at his home, so he was able to ride out the outages in more comfort than some of his neighbors.
“It’s been pretty devastating for some people,” Sims said. “It was starting to get where some people were starting to really feel the stress.”
However, the winds here were strong, and Matlock saw firsthand why PG&E cut the power.
“At one point, the winds blew down an old pine tree and it broke a PG&E power line right across the road and landed on a propane tank,” Matlock said. “The power was already out, and there was a moment of gratitude for that because I don’t know what would’ve happened had it been on.”
Ananda Village is no stranger to fires. Matlock, who grew up in the community, said one ripped through there in the mid-70s, destroying nearly two dozen homes. It’s something they don’t want to see happen again.