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Stockton Residents Wonder Who Will Pay After Power Surge Damages Appliances

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Power problems continue for people living in Stockton as an accident on Monday morning caused several smart meters to explode off of homes.

While PG&E replaced the incinerated meters on Monday, nearly 400 customers say they're still without power on Tuesday.

Chris Breheim was the only person on the block with electricity on Tuesday morning, so she says she did what any good neighbor would do—she shared it.

FILE A CLAIM: PG&E claims policy process

"I let my neighbor plug in her phone and I got these young ladies some coffee and we're going to make sure everybody is OK,'" she said.

Down the street, Robert Keller's wife didn't get much rest on Monday night, since she couldn't plug in her medical devices.

"For a C-pap machine and then the other, she has breathing treatments that she does have to plug in, but she was fine," he said.

Hundreds of PG&E workers were in the neighborhood replacing meters and electrical panels. The company even hired outside contractors to help with the huge job. By late afternoon, 400 customers were still without power. Many didn't want to stay home, so PG&E offered to pay for hotel rooms.

"We are offering anything we can to assist our customers at this time," said PG&E spokeswoman Brandi Ehlers.

While Chris Breheim's coffee maker is working, other customers don't know if their appliances will turn back on after the power surge. Scarred outlets show the damage left behind by Monday's accident.

"There's a potential there could be damage to customers' appliances inside their home. Should they have any of that damage, we absolutely want them to file a claim form," Ehlers said.

PG&E says eventually it will work with the county to pay for customers' claims, since it was a county dump truck crash that caused the power outage. The driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

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