The Latest – Tuesday, Dec. 28:
Over 80,000 customers remain without power, PG&E said Tuesday evening. According to the utility company, heavy snowfall is hindering their efforts.
Both the snow and large number of downed trees that are slowing our access, make-safe and repairs. The snow pack that fell was extremely wet and has caused a high rate of tree failure.PG&E
- El Dorado: 20,500
- Nevada: 21,500
- Placer: 9,000
- Sierra: 500
- Amador: 7,000
- Calaveras: 7,500
Original story below:
(KTXL) — Tens of thousands of customers remain without power Tuesday after inclement weather caused outages for Pacific Gas and Electric customers across the foothills and Sierra.
A PG&E official said 60,100 customers in the Sierra Division, which includes El Dorado, Nevada, Placer and Sierra counties, are without power.
The number of customers without power in the Sierra division are:
- Nevada County – 28,000
- El Dorado County – 21,000
- Placer County – 9,800
- Sierra County – 1,300
To see the affected areas, click or tap here.
“We have all hands on deck and we’re doing everything we can to get everyone’s power back on,” said PG&E Sierra Division Field Operations Superintendent Mike Schutte.
The outages follow heavy snowfall throughout the region that shut down many roads, including sections of Highway 50 and Interstate 80.
The power has been out in the Colfax area since early Monday.
Colfax resident Paul Raj has been running his backup generator all day long to power his business, the Colfax Market.
“Every time we have a storm her in Colfax, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a fire or snowstorm, I depend on this and it helps a lot,” Raj said.
Thanks to the generator, the market is one of the few places that has stayed open for patrons who need food and water.
“This town depends on it. The people have been calling here, make sure we are open. We are open, so we have no problem with cash or credit,” Raj said.
According to PG&E, crews are working around the clock to restore power, but they’re facing some issues. There has been a buildup of snow and ice, as well as downed power lines and fallen trees.
“Mainly the trees and the heavy snow, quantity of snow. We’re basically limited to either trucks with chains on or tract equipment to get out and about,” Schutte explained.
Officials added they have identified 123 locations of damage due to the storm, including 50 in Auburn, 44 in Placerville and 29 in Grass Valley.
One PG&E foreman said he has never seen storm damage like this in his 12 years with the company.
PG&E said crews are assessing the power situation in the lower elevations before moving up the mountain. They hope this will give Caltrans and California Highway Patrol enough time to clear the roadways of ice and debris.
There is currently no estimated time for when power will return.
As efforts to restore power continue, Raj told FOX40 he’ll keep his market open as long as his generator keeps working.
“Can’t go too far, everything is shut down, and I’m trying to help this community,” Raj said.
Officials with the University of California, Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Laboratory on Monday said recent snowfall at Donner Pass in the Sierra has smashed the snowiest December record of 179 inches (4.6 meters), set in 1970. The record is now 193.7 inches (4.9 meters), and more snow is expected.