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Water's a go in Strawberry



The 10 or so permanent, year-round residences on Georges Drive that lost water Thursday because of a PG&E power outage were expected to have their water restored this morning.

And in the process, the rest of the Strawberry area will be assured a steady water supply, although power won't be restored until Sunday.

Monday's power outage hit more than 1,600 PG&E customers in the Strawberry, Pinecrest, Cold Springs, Peter Pam and Dodge Ridge areas after high winds sheared 14 power poles off at ground level parallel to a ridge, west of Strawberry Road.

Since then, the storms that have soaked the West Coast have buried the poles and electrical equipment under 2 to 3 feet of snow.

PG&E spokesman Mark Hendrickson said crews have been working around the clock to install new poles, and had expected to have power restored by 6 p.m. today.

However, PG&E spokeswoman Carey Madill said crews had to be pulled out of the area Thursday night because of howling winds and heavy snow.

The estimated time for restoring power is 1 p.m. Sunday.

Danny Conlin, owner of Conlin Strawberry Water Inc., said no one expected the power to be off this long.

However, he said, with generators, there should be no problem with water supplies. Conlin said as soon as he learned about the problem, he made arrangements to get a generator, and plowed the private road above Strawberry where the empty water tank for that area sits.

He hoped to have the generator up and running this morning.

"Then we will be able to power our entire plant as long as we have to," he said.

Strawberry isn't the only area that has lost power.

Cold Springs Water Company serves 500 customers in the Cold Springs and Peter Pam areas, which are also in the dark. Owner Pete Kerns said there is a backup power supply, and that company is able to pump water now.

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