Power restored to thousands in North County after shutoffs

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FALLBROOK, Calif. – When the power goes out at home, most worry about the food in their refrigerator. At a grocery store, the problem is exponentially greater.

“It was challenging,” Pala Mesa Market employee Raul Gaspar said.

The market lost power at about 9 a.m. Monday. Scrambling, Gaspar found a backup generator to power the registers — but generators only can do so much.

“What we did with the frozen stuff was to tell customers it was buy-one-get-one free because we didn’t want that to go bad,” he said.

“But it didn’t extend to beer though,” customer Gilbert Guzman remarked.

The shutoffs were a fire prevention measure by SDG&E, which sent messages to thousands of its customers in North County over the weekend about preventative shutdowns. About 2,900 homes lost power for much of the day Monday.

Guzman and his wife live near the market, but did not lose power. They still decided to stock up their refrigerator with the market’s sale.

“A whole bunch of ice creams, frozen burritos — the essentials,” he said.

Although inconvenient, people in Fallbrook understand the mitigation effort after a 2007 fire burned nearly 10,000 acres and destroyed nearly 250 structures. Some still remember it well.

“Yes, they do,” Guzman said. “Especially people that have been living around our neighborhood for 15 years because they had to evacuate. It was a big deal.”

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