Month: March 2020

PG&E Fights Snow and Steep Slopes

DOWNIEVILLE — The powerful snowstorm arriving here on March 14 and lasting through March 18 brought down numerous large trees and wreaked severe damage to the poles, cross-arms, and wires bringing electricity to the western slope of the northern Sierra Nevada. Consequently, lengthy power outages were experienced in Camptonville, Pike, Alleghany, Forest City, Indian Valley, Goodyears Bar, all the residences between Downieville and Sierra City, Sierra City, and Green Acres, that is, all the communities located on the western side of Sierra County.

In response to these outages, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) mobilized their General Construction (GC) force, bringing ten crews of sturdy men to the area in order to restore power to their afflicted customers. Hailing from Fresno, Redding, Red Bluff, and Chico, over 40 GC workers spent three full days (Saturday, March 21, through Monday, March 23) removing trees from downed lines, replacing poles and cross-arms, plus restringing wires.

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Editor Trapped, Billy Epps to the Rescue

Frontloader on Pearl St. in Downieville, clearing a bit of snow for the residents

This past Friday evening The Mountain Messenger’s editor, not feeling particularly well after a sleep-deprived week, drove up Saddleback Road, just west of Downieville, to his “little cabin in the woods.” On the way, he encountered his neighbor who was driving into town and he learned a couple of feet of snow was expected to arrive over Saturday and Sunday.

No problem, the editor figured, we’ll just have to make a track through the snow tomorrow or Sunday.

Bad figuring, but it took until Sunday morning before this became clear. The sky had dumped close to two feet of new, very wet and heavy snow on top of the foot already accumulated on the ground when the sun set on Saturday night.

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