Residents in North Shore have not only had to endure the challenges of a pandemic, but for a second time this year, they’ve had to deal with power outages in their homes. Now, as the outage has been declared by the county as a local emergency, residents are demanding answers, and a solution, to an issue they’re all too familiar with.
“Yes, there’s resilience, our community is strong and at the same time we are there for each other, but then we also want to see that contribution and response from the county, and in this case also IID,” said North Shore resident Patricia Leal Gutierrez.
The Aug. 30 outage was the second outage the North Shore community has experienced this year. For four days, hundreds of families went without electricity, Internet, and air conditioning following severe storms that toppled 33 IID power poles.
“This time being longer times and during the high temperatures (of) the summertime,” said Leal Gutierrez. “This is the second time… We only foresee this increasing.”
Nearly two weeks after the all power was restored on Sept. 3, Riverside County declares the North Shore power outage a local emergency, a decision made in support of IID in its request for state emergency funding.
In a statement, IID said the proclamation will help ensure IID’s eligibility to receive reimbursement from the state of California for costs related to repairs and replacement of the electric infrastructure damaged in the windstorm. Riverside County officials said they hope the funding will also help prevent power outages from recurring in the future.
“What I do know is that this cannot continue,” District 4 Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “What I do know and what I’m urging IID is to continue to work with the county of Riverside and the community, and non-profit organizations to ensure that this doesn’t happen again in the future.”
Riverside County said they will continue to support the community, but they urge residents to have an emergency plan for circumstances out of their control.
“It’s important that the community also educate themselves… (and) really being prepared for these types of emergencies. Government can’t do it all… but we need to work together,” said Perez. “Pointing fingers is not going to get anybody anywhere.”