Who knew patience would be the most needed quality for the rest of 2021? As of publication time 30,404 PG&E customers in western Nevada County are out of power. I-80, US 50, Hwys 49 and 20 are shut down at the higher elevations, many county and city roads are impassable, either because of snow or trees and debris. Just a throwback to “real winter” for some, for others it spells damaged homes, no power or heat and no getting to work.

We posted close to a hundred updates in Happening Now since yesterday evening, from trees in the roadway, to massive power outages and closures of courthouses, county facilities and food banks.

You can call 211 for information or unmet needs at 1-833-DIAL211. Nevada County staff is coordinating with 211 Connecting Point to share information and triage needs received by callers.

The increasingly rare low-elevation snow was forecast, messaged and highlighted for days. Yet, the major highways were a parking lot. A 70-mile stretch of I-80 is now in its second day of closure, and all highways in and out of the Tahoe Basin remain closed.

Days, not hours

What we cannot report right now is when roads will be clear again and power restored. Caltrans, first responders and county road crews have been working around the clock to clear roads, remove trees and flag down power lines for the utility workers. Right now, outages in Nevada County represent over 25% of the statewide power outages.

First, thanks to all the first responders, road crews and utility workers! Second, please be safe everyone. Treat any down power line as a live line and do not try to move them. Call 911 and report them.

If you don’t have to drive, stay home. Roads, even plowed ones, will become more and more treacherous as temperatures dip into freezing territory and weakened trees can fall over at any time. Road closures are flagged, please respect them.

PG&E stated on Twitter that access is a major challenge for the crews. The rural circuits have been hit hard. Replacing poles, lines and equipment will take time and once restoration estimates are available, we will of course post them.

Be prepared for several days of power outages, due to the magnitude of the damage caused.

We all live here

Check on your neighbors. Many of our readers are sending us reports, photos and updates from their locations – and talk about neighbors helping neighbors.

Shoveling snow or dragging tree limbs goes faster with help, and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate afterwards tastes even better.

Stay safe, be patient, and don’t hesitate to send questions or photos!