PG&E: 21K still without power Tuesday after late-December storms

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The Latest – Tuesday, Jan. 4

PG&E spokesperson Megan McFarland said Tuesday morning, there were around 21,000 customers without power in the Sierra. Of the total, 10,800 customers are without power in Nevada County, 5,700 in El Dorado County and 4,300 in Placer County.

The number of Nevada County locations with reports of damage also rose Tuesday to more than 1,214.

PG&E said it has called in outside reinforcements to help tackle the damage caused by the snowstorms, including from states like Oregon and New Mexico.


Original story below:

(KTXL) — Some Pacific Gas and Electric customers have been without power for over a week after a series of snowstorms left behind broken power poles and downed lines.

PG&E spokesperson Megan McFarland said as of Monday morning, roughly 25,000 customers still did not have power. Most of those still in the dark are located in Placer, Nevada and El Dorado counties, McFarland said.

Prior to the weekend, PG&E gave some areas, like Pollock Pines, an initial estimate of Jan. 10 for when power could come back on but said all estimates “are likely to change.”

“We know that it is incredibly frustrating and it’s such a hardship to be without power,” McFarland told FOX40 Monday. “And this is all hands on deck to restore power in this area.”

The late-December snowstorms that slammed Northern California and shattered records also caused widespread damage. The utility said the weather caused damage to about 1,700 locations, including 700 locations in Nevada County and 300 in El Dorado County.

The Alta Sierra neighborhood was one of the harder-hit areas.

“These power lines have been down for almost a week, they still haven’t cleared them or gotten them out of the way,” explained Nevada County resident Kalah Masnaghetti.

Many residents have had to rely on generators, especially as temperatures plummeted over the weekend. The National Weather Service recorded a low of minus 10 for South Lake Tahoe on the first day of 2022.

Colfax resident Mike Young told FOX40 Monday the care home he runs has been without power for a week. They’ve been getting by with a generator.

“We’re just going day by day and hoping PG&E gets around to us pretty soon,” Young said. 

“Our generator won’t run washers and dryers. We’re kind of running out of clean clothes,” he continued. “But we’re pretty lucky.”

Some Colfax residents said they have been without electricity since the River Fire plowed through the city back in mid-August.

Scott Ishmael lost his home in the fire and has relied on a long-term generator for power to a trailer, which his family is temporarily calling home.

“We had the longest time without rain over the summer. Then we had the wettest weekend, 8 inches in 24 hours,” Ismael said. “And this is the most snowfall that they’ve ever seen in the last 24 years. And losing your house. You just smile. You just go, ‘Well, it can’t get any worse than this.'”

Thousands of customers had their power restored over the weekend, McFarland said, but another storm is in the forecast. This winter system may not drop a lot of snow in the mountains, but the NWS says it is expected to bring in strong winds through Tuesday morning, which could topple trees and lead to more outages.

For those without power still, they say the only answer they have gotten is that restoration will start soon.

“I’ve got that same message now, every single day, including last night. Getting them between 6:30 and 7:30 every day with no estimation of when we’ll get power,” Colfax resident Stan Karp said.

Karp said they have no running water, no generator and no heat.

“We have no clue. They won’t tell us. That’s all we get, ‘We’re trying to get access.’ Well, they’ve been doing that for five days. We still haven’t got it,” Karp said.

Sierra counties, the American Red Cross and PG&E have opened warming shelters and community resource centers to help distribute to-go bags, with a blanket, battery charger, snacks and water. Customers in the affected counties who would like support can call PG&E at 1-800-477-3333 or visit the resource center page by clicking or tapping here. They can also find winter weather resources on the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services site by clicking or tapping here.

For those impacted by the snowstorms, click or tap on your county to find more information on resources that are available.

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