PG&E PSPS closes businesses in Oakland Hills


The PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff Wednesday night caused business to grind to a halt in communities that are without electricity, including one part of the Oakland Hills.

Almost all of the businesses in Montclair were closed Thursday because of the PSPS, except for a Safeway, which has a large backup generator, and a barber shop.

Daniel Tran of Montclair Barber Shop was still cutting hair, thanks to battery powered clippers, which he charged up the day before the power outage.

“This is for safety, right, but it’s really bad for business, so we've got no choice right now," he told KCBS Radio. "We’ve got no choice."

Many residents were also annoyed to be without power.

Bryan Smith called it a "disaster" because he couldn't telecommute. However, he was able to make his morning coffee on the stove.

“We have gas stoves, luckily, and I lit it up," Smith said. "This is like how they made coffee 100 years ago. It’s tasty.”

High winds and hot temperatures trigger the PSPS, and while most merchants grumbled about the loss of business, Oakland Hills resident Joanne Pheiffer pointed out that it could be a lot worse.

"What would happen if all those hills burned up?" Pheiffer said. "It means the businesses would be out a lot longer than this.”