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California power outages highlight economic disparity

The power blackouts in California are highlighting growing income disparity in the state, with access to electricity increasingly available to those who can afford to pay.

When the nation's largest utility warned customers last week that it would cut power to nearly 2 million people across Northern California, many rushed out to buy portable generators.

Others had the security of knowing they could rely on solar panels and batteries installed in their homes.

But many families impacted by the blackouts are struggling from paycheque to paycheque and don't have the luxury of buying backup power for their homes.

Communities in the San Francisco Bay Area are already reeling from economic imbalance as the tech industry has drawn well-off workers to the region, pushing lower- and middle-income families farther away from pricey city centres .

Cathy Bussewitz, The Associated Press