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.

To perform this work they assembled an impressive coterie of hardware and generated big appetites. Yes, on Saturday afternoon The Mountain Messenger personally witnessed these men order 36 cheeseburgers and several large pizzas from the Two Rivers Cafe in Downieville. To pay their bill, more than $700 including tip, more than one of the men’s company credit cards had to be put into play.

All of the trucks left for Grass Valley or Auburn on Saturday and Sunday night. Some of the workers made the trip because they needed to retrieve additional material. All of them needed to refuel their vehicles, a task they could not perform in Downieville.

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