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Back home, but no electricity or drinking water

Ramona:

John Gould, 75, was happily back to his undamaged home today. But he was soon out again at the auto parts store, picking up a $500 generator.

Ramona residents have been advised to boil tap water, or avoid it altogether. Lines of portable toilets speckle the town's parking lots as people search out the few restaurants that are still open, trying to figure out how to get water to their dogs and horses.

"We were chased out Sunday night," Gould said. "Monday they turned off the electricity, and now my freezer and refrigerator smell like skunk."

"They said Nov. 7," Gould said, disdainfully repeating the date San Diego Gas and Electric told him he'd have electricity back. "And we have no water. I haven't even been able to talk to the telephone company."

Like many Ramona residents, Gould has a well, but needs electricity to power his pump.

"If I can turn on my well," Gould said. "I need 220 volts to turn on the well. And I have a swimming pool that looks like the black lagoon."

And thus, the need for a generator, he said, carrying it out of the store and plopping it in his trunk early this afternoon.

-- Tami Abdollah

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