The Latest – Friday, Dec. 31:
As of Friday, 38,531 customers in the Sierra are still without power, according to a spokesperson from PG&E.
Original story below.
EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Following the latest round of winter snowstorms, tens of thousands of people were still without power Thursday night and Pacific Gas and Electric said it could be another week before some residents can get power again.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared an emergency proclamation to support counties slowly recovering from the winter conditions. Several of those counties have already declared their own emergencies in response to the record-breaking snowfall.
At last check, PG&E said 42,437 customers in the Sierra are without power.
“I got a text message from PG&E last night saying the 9th,” resident Pollock Pines resident Jessica Langford said.
As the weather cleared and the sun came out, a lot of people in El Dorado County took the opportunity to get out and clean up the snow and damage, as well as stock up on supplies.
“The gas station ran out of gas, that was tough. We had to travel to Placerville, took us three hours to get back home,” Langford said.
Some residents told FOX40 Thursday was their fourth day without power.
They’ve been relying on generators and stopping at community centers to charge electronic devices. Neighbors have been helping neighbors as resources quickly run out.
“Got no central heating going on, actually got no power, so all you’ve got is a fireplace and a generator. And all your generator is going to do is help with your refrigerator and stuff, that’s about it,” one local man said. “So, I don’t know what we’re going to do. If it’s going to go past the 10s, you’re going to see a lot of people, you know, probably a few dead ones, too, from freezing to death.”
The National Weather Service reported the “coldest air in nearly five years” is expected to hit western Nevada and some Sierra communities by the end of the week and into the new year. NWS officials said the lowest temperatures in the Sierra could drop down to below zero.
PG&E crews have been struggling to get around snow to get to damaged equipment. The utility gave Pollock Pines an initial estimate of Jan. 10 for when power could come back on but said all estimates “are likely to change.”
Leaders with PG&E will hold a press conference Friday morning to provide updates on the efforts to restore power.
And power hasn’t been the only issue.
Gas stations have been running low on fuel, which means drivers heading to the mountains should fill up in the valley first.
Major canals in Placer and Tuolumne counties were also damaged in the storms.
Placer County water officials said they expect temporary repairs to the Boardman Canal to be done by Saturday morning. The breach has caused disruptions for residents in Midway Heights, Heather Glen, Weimar and Meadow Vista, the Placer County Water Agency reported.
As communities conserve water, they can pick up bottled water at the Applegate Fire Station at 18016 Applegate Road, the Placer Hills Fire Station at 100 West Weimar Cross Road, and the Weimar Country Store and Gas at 20170 West Paoli Lane.
For those impacted by the snowstorms, click or tap on your county to find more information on resources that are available.