Market accepts customer IOUs as outage destroys payment system

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CAMPO, Calif .– A small mountain community east of Golden Acorn Casino along Interstate 8 was without power on Thanksgiving Day, and they weren’t the only ones.

About 43,000 SDG & E customers have been warned by the electric utility of the potential outages triggered by the high Santa Ana winds and dangerous fire weather conditions in the forecast. Thousands of people were without power as of Thursday morning and the impact was felt, including at the Live Oak Springs Market on Boulevard.

The market operated with a small generator and supplied only a limited number of items.

“I give priority to ice cream machines,” said owner Marioes Matthe. “Things that can melt or spoil. “

In addition to the race to save on groceries, Matthe couldn’t make card payments or pump gas for his customers. The small convenience store began accepting IOUs from those who were unable to pay in cash.

He says he knows the majority of customers who live in the community will reimburse him, as many of them depend on EBT cards for payment.

“I called AT&T and they told me they were closed on holidays,” he said, “so I couldn’t get tech support to help me either.”

Shonna Sawders lives on Boulevard, on the road to Live Oak Springs, and says SDG & E gave her 24 hours’ notice before the power cut.

“When the power goes out, you lose your water,” Sawders said. “You lose your stove. You lose your heat source.

Sawders says the majority of residents get their water from a well that uses an electric pump, which they are unable to use. While she understands the reason for the outages, Sawders said she wanted SDG & E to provide affected communities with generators or financial assistance to purchase one.

“I spent most of the day washing blankets,” she said. “Make sure the children have double blankets, make sure we have water cans to flush the toilets, wash our hands, wash the dishes. “

The company’s outage map is available here.


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