The recent frigid conditions that blanketed Plumas County for nearly three weeks appear to have lifted a little. But the cold weather left its mark. And there is little doubt that we will see more of it before spring arrives.
While the snow plow drivers enjoy a well-deserved rest, this is a good time to emphasize the importance of being careful, aware and better prepared when the next round of snow and ice hits.
This time of year can be deadly — especially for our elderly residents and people who are suffering ill health. Just last week, two Indian Valley residents were found dead outside their homes. The sheriff’s office said the cold weather might have played a role in their deaths. One of the victims — an elderly man — appeared to have died after hitting his head in a fall.
There was also a report of a Portola resident who was hospitalized after spending several days “trapped” at home with no heat or firewood.
Those are just a few examples. There are surely others. We should all try to look out for each other this time of year. When the weather gets like this, it’s natural to want to stay indoors. That could mean not getting a glimpse of your friends and neighbors for many days at a time. That also means something could happen to them and you might not know it.
Reach out and stay in touch. If you have elderly neighbors or sick friends who live alone, give them a call or email every day or so. If they don’t respond, pay them a visit — especially if their lights aren’t on or their chimney isn’t smoking when it should be.
It’s also flu season. This season’s bug has already hit the Lake Almanor Basin and is heading east. If you usually get a flu shot and haven’t done it yet, now is a good time. Maybe offer to take your elderly friend or neighbor with you.
Flu shots are available most days in Quincy at the courthouse annex, and in other communities via the following schedule: Greenville, first Thursday of the month; Portola, second and fourth Thursdays of the month; and Chester, third Thursday of the month. Appointments are needed and can be made by calling 283-6330. You can also read a story about the flu in the front section of today’s paper.
And while you are driving to get your flu shot be extra careful. Just because many roads are no long white with snow doesn’t mean they aren’t slippery. The melting snow freezes at night, leaving a sometimes invisible sheet of ice on the road.
According to the Quincy Area California Highway Patrol, there were 15 crashes in the greater Quincy area alone in the past three weeks. Eight of the 15 wrecks were attributed to people driving at an “unsafe speed for the roadway conditions.”
Spring will be here before we know it. But until it arrives, we need to be careful, be prepared and, most of all, be aware of how our friends and neighbors are doing.