As some Almanor Basin residents approached 48 hours without power, county officials declared a state of emergency late Friday afternoon, Jan. 22. The declaration makes the county eligible for state aid and financial assistance.
Supervisor Sherrie Thrall, who represents the Lake Almanor Basin, said the declaration was due in large part to conditions in Chester, which has been the hardest hit area in Plumas County. Heavy snowfall has toppled trees, which have taken out power lines, crashed through carports and landed on home roofs.
Currently, CalFire crews are helping to dig out essential structures, including schools and fire hydrants. They are also trying to remove snow from flat-roofed buildings. Some county roads in the area remain impassable, blocked with three feet of snow.
PG&E was reporting 3,200 customers in Plumas were without power as of 4:30 p.m Friday, down from 10,000 late Thursday night. Thrall noted that people were starting to run out of gas for their generators. She encouraged any residents with shelter or heating needs to call her at 258-3656.
With weather expected to be clearer over the weekend, emergency officials are hoping they can dig out from this week's weather and prepare for what are predicted to be even worse conditions next week.
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