Gramps to the Rescue

This 500 watt portable generator came in handy | photo from Joe Tate | post by Joe Tate and Larry Clinton

When power went out on South 40 Pier during the recent spate of storms, just after midnight, PG&E announced that it might not be restored before 10:00 p.m. on the following evening.

Joe “Gramps” Tate, who lives in an ark that sits on pilings just off of South 40, fired up his generator about 7:30 a.m., stretching out extra extension cords to a neighbor who needed to clear his holding tank.

Next was a request for power to bail out a home farther out the dock, so he loaded another smaller generator onto a cart and headed out to help. About halfway there, the power came back on. Says Joe: “We continued onward with the generator and cables, thinking we could lose power again any second.”

Joe and Dancer Styles were able to plug in a pump in the nick of time, as the gunwales of the flooded home’s concrete barge were nearly submerged.

“Curiously,” says Joe, “this is the first time we’ve ever used this generator, which we bought about six years ago. I like to think that just having the gear makes it less likely to have an outage. Every 4th of July, the small generator is on a truck with a band playing in the parade.”