Students recount being affected by power outages, store closures

Students recount being affected by power outages, store closures

Photo Credits: JUSTIN HAN / AGGIE. Crews work to clear debris from fallen trees by the La Rue Road tunnel after strong wind conditions disrupted the City of Davis on Sunday, October 27, 2019.

Outages in Davis on Oct. 27 caused difficulty for students

The PG&E outages in California on Oct. 27 caused disruption in students’ schedules and closed down stores including Save Mart and the Safeway in North Davis. 

Some students, like second-year anthropology and history major Dhanya Indraganti, dealt with additional problems besides the lack of power. Indraganti, who lives in Anderson Place Apartments in North Davis, said the power was out in her apartment from 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 27 until 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 28. She said her apartment complex also did not have running water on Oct. 27 between mid-afternoon and night, preventing residents from using the restroom and obtaining water to drink throughout the day. 

“To deal with the [situation], I spent most of the day on campus, where I bought packaged lunch and did my homework,” Indraganti said via email. “I went to Target to get a big bottle of water in case the running water didn’t come back. I had to put my phone into extreme power saving mode so that I could keep my family updated on how I was doing.”

Save Mart closed on Oct. 27 but was back open on Monday afternoon, according to Victoria Castro, public affairs manager for the Save Mart Companies. 

“The store was impacted by the PG&E power outage that the Davis area experienced last week,” Castro said in an email statement. “We were able to minimize our fresh loss [through] the use of […] refrigerated and frozen trucks. Our priority was our customers and getting the store open and fully stocked for the community.”

Second-year material science and engineering major Rohit Mokkarala lives in North Davis in La Salle Apartments and was also affected by the outages. The power in La Salle Apartments was out for about an hour, and Mokkarala spent that time talking with housemates and cleaning. 

“I tried to go to Save Mart [on the] afternoon [of Oct. 27], but it was closed without any prior warning,” Mokkarala said via email. “There was a piece of paper that said ‘closed due to power outages’ on the door. The following Monday, the store didn’t have a full stock of their main produce, mainly frozen vegetables and other refrigerated goods. Other than this, it was as usual.”

Indraganti was doing homework on Sunday morning and only realized the power was off when she went into her kitchen to make tea. 

“I realized the power went out, and therefore my electric stove was also useless,” Indraganti said via email. “I couldn’t cook all day, and this was somewhat upsetting, because Sunday was Diwali, according to the Hindi Calendar. And since I had homework due that night, I had to go to school to finish it and submit it on Canvas.” 

Indraganti used to live in India and mentioned that despite “frequently [having] power outages” there, she was surprisingly stressed about the situation. 

“I think if PG&E or our apartment management warned us about the winds and the likelihood of power outages, it would have prepared me better,” Indraganti said via email.

Written by: Anjini Venugopal — features@theaggie.org