More from the Guardian’s Mario Koran in San Rafael:
Traffic in San Rafael has slowed to a stop-and-go crawl since the power outage. Some downtown street lights were back on but others had been replaced with temporary stop signs.
Colonial Liquor, across from the downtown transit center and one of the few businesses with lights on, had just opened its doors after two days without power, said the man behind the counter, who declined to give his name.
“I’m going to have to work for sixth months straight to make up what I lost,” he said.
The situation wasn’t quite as dire for Bill Horton, who works for the This Week in Tech podcast, but it was still disruptive. Horton relies on the local Smart train to get to his office in Petaluma, but the power outage grounded the transit system. This morning, he stood by the bus terminal and saw that the bus he needed would be delayed. “It will be another hour,” he said.
Horton’s nearby home has been without power since Saturday, he said. “Oh it’s been great,” he joked. “Last night I ate spaghetti-ohs out of a can. I guess you could look at it as a kind of adventure. But it’s a good reminder of how bad we need to get our shit together before we hit a true emergency, like an earthquake.”
“I’ll be okay,” he continued. “But so many of the people you see here riding public transit, they live paycheck to paycheck. They fight over those hours. They can’t afford to lose several days wages.”
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My colleague Mario Koran is now in San Rafael, a city just north of San Francisco affected by the power shutdowns:
Downtown San Rafael is blinking to life after several days without power, but the progress is slow – a few traffic lights and a handful of stores are the only ones with power.
The trains aren’t running, either because they run on electricity or because the power is out on the railroad crossings, stalling the commute for workers. Eddie, who would only give his first name, has been out of work for four days since PG&E cut the lights at the restaurant where he works. He said he was worried about the loss of wages.
“If you don’t work in San Francisco or certain parts of Marin [county], you’re out of luck,” he said. He hasn’t been able to go to the grocery store because the lights have been out at, and the nearest market is too far for public transit.
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