A significant portion of Californians were in a state of panic for good reason last week. They bought emergency water, flashlights, and dried foods, in preparation for the chance that their power would be cut. Californians also checked the PG&E blackout zones map, up to the point that the website kept on crashing because of the web traffic.
Last week, PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric) had announced that thirty four Californian counties would be experiencing a power cut due to the threat of severe winds, which could potentially shake and damage power lines. Damaged power lines could then become a fire hazard, which would be devastating combined with California’s dry and wildfire prone landscape at this time of year. Consequently, more than one million persons across California were said to be affected by the power outage. Those who were on independent grids or had alternative power sources were lucky to not be impacted. Unfortunately for most, the power outage had a drastic effect. Schools, businesses, and offices were shut down unexpectedly due to power cuts.
Losing power also proved to be extremely inconvenient in every day life in the digital age. Try charging your phone at one percent, making avocado toast during a blackout, doing anything that requires WiFi. Nearly impossible. And so, we were all extremely thankful when the power began returning. As of Friday October Eleventh, PG&E announced about half of those affected had their power restored, and the majority of the remaining people would experience their power returning over the weekend.