Some Carr Fire survivors still without power five months later
REDDING, Calif. —
In late July, the Carr Fire tore through Shasta County, claiming eight lives and destroying more than a thousand homes.
Now five months later, some residents in the burn areas are still living without access to gas or electricity while others are just getting it turned back on.
"When I called PG&E, they told me basically the permit process. They want us to go to the city to get permits," said Carr Fire survivor Mark Ludwig.
Mark Ludwig and his family have been living on their empty lot since the Carr Fire claimed their family home 5 months ago.
"They told me I had to build a foundation for my trailer before we could actually get a permit and that's going to be expensive," Ludwig said.
Ludwig said living without power has been incredibly difficult for he and his family.
"It's been really rough for all of us. But especially for them. It's hard without power. It's hard to go to town every time you need gas to get something done inside or what ever," Ludwig said.
Mark is just one of many in the Keswick area living without power since the Carr Fire, according to PG&E's Paul Moreno.
143 applications have been submitted to get power restored from the Carr Fire but only 74 have been completed.
According to PG&E, the laws in place in the state of California requires a landowner to first apply for a permit with PG&E and then they will come out and determine your property power needs and a place for the new pole.
After that step, the landowner then needs to hire an electrician to install the power pole and an electrical panel.
Once those steps are completed, the county comes out to inspect the work that has been done and they will then issue a permit that allows PG&E to come back out and turn the power on.
PG&E added they are waiving all re-connection fees for Carr and Camp Fire survivors, which typically runs about $1,200.
Kathleen Flournoy is one of those who just got power back to her property.
"Three beautiful PG&E trucks with cranes came out and hooked us up. Hooked the power to our power pole. [We've] been running on generators for five months now. It's going to be so wonderful to have electricity again," Flournoy said.
But Flournoy said it was not an easy process.
"It's been a long process getting the permits for the power pole. We got our permit five months ago for it. Then purchasing the power pole."
Now that the power's back on, Flournoy said what she really needs is to find a way to transport her mobile home from Oroville to Keswick as a more permanent solution, without causing more problems for her and her husband.
"It's costing us $50 a day in gas just to run the generator to run the trailer we're staying in," Flournoy said.
Despite the financial challenges, Flournoy said she is remaining positive with the help of two new puppies born in the aftermath of the fire.
"It's our new beginning," Flournoy said.
Her little bits of hope for a new beginning and fresh start ahead.