Power shutoffs and fire evacuations nothing new for Santa Rosa retirement community


The more than 5,000 residents of the Oakmont retirement community in Santa Rosa spent the last two days bracing for another round of PG&E power shutoffs, but that’s nothing new.

Property owners have experienced many fire evacuations and electricity cuts, dating back to the 2017 Tubbs Fire.

This is the second Public Safety Power Shutoff event for Oakmont residents this summer.

Seniors, many reliant on in-home medical devices, had to evacuate quickly when the Glass Fire spread in late September. That blaze destroyed multiple structures along the State Highway 12 corridor where Oakmont sits.

Tom, who lives in the community with his dad, told KCBS Radio he’s been through this before.

“My dad had a house in Kentwood,” he said. “In the 2017 fire we lost everything there. And now, we’re here in Oakmont, and the Kincade Fire and then the Walbridge – we were gone when all this was happening and when we came back here, I couldn’t believe it.”

Judy was at the Oakmont Village Market, which has a large generator and serves as a hub for the community, stocking up on supplies.

She said the repeated PSPS events and fire evacuations are unnerving.

“We’re kind of all depressed and that’s okay,” she told KCBS Radio. “It’s natural. But, I’m in my house and I don’t know what to do, so I go do this for a while and then that for a while. You know, our lives are pretty much interrupted.”