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PG&E Crews work to restore power to Clover Fire victims

By Jerry Olenyn, jolenyn@krcrtv.com
Published On: Sep 12 2013 09:34:21 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 12 2013 10:29:14 PM CDT
IGO, Calif. -

One of the reasons for the slow re-population in the area damaged by the Clover Fire is that crews are working to make areas safe.

Part of the challenge they face is replacing 177 power poles to restore power to the area.

Some people are living out of their cars.  Candy Penoli’s home survived the fire, but the power poles on her road did not.

“There's a lot of acres here; there's a lot of poles down,” said Penoli.  “I means there's seven poles to my house and not one of them is standing.”

One hundred PG&E and contract workers are restoring the power to 120 homes in the Igo and Happy Valley Area.  While this has been a difficult job for the utility, PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno said they've fixed worse.

“(It’s) far less devastating than the Chips and Ponderosa (Fires),” said Moreno.  “But still very devastating, especially for those who are impacted by this fire.”

Homeowners whose houses are still standing are periodically escorted into their neighborhood to check on their homes.  The rest of the day is spent either in the car, at a relative's or a hotel. 

Deborah Margrita is thankful her home survived. But she feels pretty much like her home, powerless to help her neighbors who lost everything.

“For me, I have my home,” said Margrita.  “But for these people who don't have anything, gosh, what do they do?”

Now she has nothing to do but wait.

PG&E said the best case scenario is that 90 percent of the homes without power will have power restored by Saturday night.   PG&E is already working on the next phase of their work, removing branches and trees that could threaten to fall and causing more lines to be damaged.