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Calaveras County family left with no power, running water for more than a month after garage fire

Family without power, running water in Calaveras County home for over a month
Family without power, running water in Calaveras County home for over a month 02:28

WILSEYVILLE — One family has been left in the dark in their Calaveras County home for 32 days now.

They reached out to CBS13 for answers when they passed the one-month mark of having no electricity and also no running water as they rely on power to pump water from their well.

Just as we pulled up to their home in Wilseyville on Thursday, Pacific Gas and Electric had finally fixed the problem just an hour before, restoring the power to the home.

"I'm basically looking forward to being able to make a cup of coffee in the morning," Christina Juarez said with a smile.

She said Thursday marked a celebration after a month of navigating life without most modern conveniences we all take for granted each day. Now, the lights are back on and it feels like home again to Christina and her husband, John.

For 32 days, getting just a few hours of electricity and Wi-Fi has been thanks only to their gas-powered generator.

Without anything to power their well, it's been a month of MacGyver-ing to bring in gallons of water to their kitchen sink and toilets.

"Also, we've stayed in hotels just to take showers," Christina said.

On May 19, a fire burned the Juarez family's garage to the ground; thankfully, it did not spread to their home.

The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time but is believed to have possibly been an electrical issue.

What was lost inside included priceless family memories and John's music studio, which served as an escape for the disabled veteran.

"It was my little sanctuary, basically," John said.

When it all burned, it took the electric panel with it.

PG&E had to cut their power lines due to the fire, but the Juarez family did not know they would be in the dark for a month.

"I was calling every day, multiple numbers," Christina said. "I just thought if this is what I have to do to get our electricity back, I'll do it. My husband is a disabled veteran. My son is 12 years old. We have animals. We need not only electricity but the water hooked back up."

The family is out thousands of dollars from having to replace the electric pole out of pocket. Christina said that was done and ready for PG&E's final fix two weeks ago.

She feels that the company failed her family by waiting so long to finish the job.

They are grateful to the lineman who finally came on Thursday to install their new meter and run a new power line in only about 30 minutes.

"He just said someone dropped the ball, an incompetence that they must not have known," Christina said.

CBS13 reached out to PG&E Thursday to ask: what was the holdup?

We are still waiting for those answers that Christina hopes come soon.

"We'd really like to get to the root of it so that somebody else doesn't have to suffer and go through what we did because it wasn't fun," Christina said.

Now that the power is back on Thursday, there is one final hurdle: the Juarez family expects to get their well water reconnected on Friday and finally get back to normal.

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