MOUNTAIN AREA — With power slowly returning to parts of eastern Madera County, including sections of Oakhurst and Yosemite Lakes Park, area residents remained confused as to whether another Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) may occur Tuesday — with high winds predicted and PG&E warning it may have to pull the plug again.
Meanwhile, areas hit by high winds Sunday night, including North Fork and surrounding areas, remained without power late Monday afternoon, more than 24 hours after the PSPS began Sunday afternoon.
Information remained sketchy throughout the day Monday regarding the utility’s plans to restore electricity — and about what areas might be included in another PSPS planned for tomorrow.
According to information on PG&E’s website Monday afternoon, some areas could remain without power until Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. The utility said Monday evening “34 percent” of the power had been restored to impacted areas in eastern Madera County.
At 5 p.m., MCSO sent out an alert stating: “Eastern Madera County is being placed under a new PG&E PSPS Advisory. PG&E is currently monitoring another possible significant wind event forcasted for 10/29 which could potentially result in continued public safety power shut offs in some parts of Madera County.”
MCSO recommended in the alert that residents “make arrangements to be without power for an additional 12-48 hours.”
“Specific geographic impacts are not known at this time,” MCSO’s alert also stated. “This advisory is currently being issued as a planning method only.”
In North Fork on Monday afternoon, a number of business owners were operating with backup generators. Local organic grocer The Gnarly Carrot was open as was the Jackass Hostel and the Buckhorn Bar.
Gas N’ Stuff mini-market was also open and customers were lining up to fill up their gas tanks and spare gas cans.
Despite the power outage, Scott Marsh at the Jackass Hostel in North Fork said, “We’re expecting a full house of 12 out-of-town guests tonight.”
Meanwhile, all classes were cancelled on Monday throughout the Yosemite Unified School District and at North Fork Elementary, Manzanita, Mountain Oaks, Chawanakee Academy, Minarets and Minarets Charter School(s).
With the outage stretching into Day 2, classes at Chawanakee District schools were expected to be cancelled Tuesday as well.
But at 6:30 p.m. Monday night, YUSD Superintendent Glen Billington announced power had been restored at all district sites and classes “will resume tomorrow (Tuesday) on a regular schedule” at all Yosemite Unified schools.