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Paradise looks at underground power lines during rebuilding process

The town of Paradise is looking into the use of underground power lines as a way to make the town safer after the rebuilding process.

Posted: May 20, 2019 4:49 PM
Updated: May 20, 2019 6:20 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - The town of Paradise is looking into the use of underground power lines as a way to make the town safer after the rebuilding process.

The bill was introduced by Senator Jim Nielsen in hopes of minimizing the risk of electrical lines and equipment causing catastrophic wildfires. 

If the town decides to move forward, PG&E would move overhead power lines into underground trenches. 

One man who started rebuilding in Paradise said he's concerned about the cost of the underground powerlines. 

"It really comes down to how expensive [the bill is], who's going to pay for this, and how much is it going to cost?" said Steve Kane, a resident rebuilding in Paradise. "I don't believe it's fair to put this on the taxpayers on a federal level, and if the cost is going to be so expensive that I can't afford to stay then I'm out." 

Paradise officials said they are brainstorming to make the town safer during the rebuilding process. 

"We are looking at everything that we can do to make the town safer, fire safe, and a fire-wise community going forward," said Lauren Gill, Paradise town manager. "And this is one of those projects the town would like to look at and consider." 

Reporter Luna Nas reached out to Jim Nielsen's camp inquiring about the cost of underground power lines.  They said:

"The measure requires the establishment of a working group to prioritize undergrounding along streets and highways that serve as county-designated evacuation routes. It doesn’t address cost at this time."

Underground power lines will be one of the many subjects discussed in a Paradise town hall meeting this week. 

PG&E will address its plans and the public can make their voices heard at the Paradise Alliance Church this Wednesday, May 22, 2019 starting at 6 p.m. 

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We're getting hotter as we head into the middle of this week, and the potential for thunderstorms will prompt a Fire Weather Watch in the Sierra on Thursday. Hot & dry conditions continue through your weekend.
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