Nevada County Office of Emergency Services has declared a Local Emergency as a result of the winter storm. The Board of Supervisors is expected to formally adopt the resolution during a special virtual meeting on Thursday at 2:00 pm.

The declaration of a local emergency is a first step to be able to request mutual aid from other jurisdictions and apply for state and then federal emergency declarations and resources.

The staff report reads, in part:

“On December 27, 2021 in the early morning, Nevada County was hit with an intense winter snow-storm (Snow-storm) bringing excessive amounts of snow to areas that typically receive little to no snow. The Snow-storm caused over 30,000 Nevada County residents to lose PG&E utility power service with PG&E saying it could take many days for restoration. As a result of the Snow-storm hundreds of trees have been reported down across county roads, with many trees having attached utility power lines to them and there have been numerous calls for service from local residents who have had trees land on their homes, are running out of heating gas, do not having electricity, or do not have firewood to heat their homes, resulting in the need for the County to open additional warming shelters.

This Local Emergency Proclamation will enable Nevada County to more effectively respond to the Snow-storm, seek and utilize mutual aid, obtain state and federal funds (if available), and ensure that the County’s resources and economy, as well as the community at large, have all the necessary tools at their disposal to endure this ongoing challenge.”

December 28, 2021 at 4:33 PM Update: According to a news release by Nevada County: “The County is fully mobilized to serve our community. Since the onset of the storm, law enforcement has responded to over 900 calls for service. Snowplows are working 24/7 on 12-14 hour shifts to clear and reopen roads. Social workers are checking in on elderly residents and vulnerable families. Our Office of Emergency Services team is coordinating a unified response. While County buildings may be closed to the public, it’s all hands on deck from our dedicated public safety and essential services staff,” said County Executive Officer Alison Lehman.

As of Tuesday afternoon, PG&E reported 94 outages impacting 28,000 residences. PG&E have provided no official timeline for when power will be restored due to the unprecedented number of downed power poles felled by the storm.

“We’ve had numerous calls for services from people who have had trees land on their homes, who are without power, or running out of firewood or heating gas. We need to prepare for another wave of snow and more cold weather. If you take the time now to gather food and supplies, and check in on family and neighbors, the County will get the mutual aid we need to meet the challenge,” said Board Vice Chair Sue Hoek.

Hoek urged the public to call 211 to request information or assistance.

“More help is on the way,” reported Steve Monaghan, who heads the County Office of Emergency Services. “Already CAL FIRE and Nevada County Consolidated Fire District have sent crews to help with tree removal, working alongside Public Works to assess damage and prioritize needs.”

With the official declaration of a local emergency, Monaghan expects to receive critical assistance from the state and other regional partners: “Last night, Sacramento County sent over a 100Kw generator to power the Madelyn Helling Library, which is open as a warming shelter overnight. Cal OES said they will be sending us two sand trucks to improve road safety.”

The agenda with the single item to be considered is below.