Power has been restored to nearly all of an estimated 10,000 Pacific Gas and Electric customers who lost electricity in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties during the low-elevation snowstorm that pounded the Mother Lode and the rest of the Central Sierra earlier this week.
As of 1 p.m. Friday there were more than 300 customers without power in Glencoe, Rail Road Flat and Wilseyville. There were also scattered outages in Sonora and East Sonora, including a pocket of more than 70 customers in the Brentwood Park area near Twain Harte. Locations with outages still persisting included Yankee Hill, Gibbs Ranch, Standard, the town of Tuolumne and Soulsbyville.
On Tuesday, Denny Boyles, a PG&E spokesman in Fresno, estimated as many as 9,600 customers were without power in the Sonora area and east of Sonora alone. He emphasized the 9,600 total was an estimate, and he said there were “probably more than that.”
Boyles said earlier this week that limited access due to heavy snowfall in many areas that do not normally receive snowfall, it was likely some Pacific Gas and Electric customers would have to cope with extended outages lasting until Friday or Saturday.
Power restoration comes just in time for thousands of Mother Lode residents bracing for the first of two more cold winter storms expected to start bringing more cold rain and snow to the Central Sierra foothills and mountains by 6 p.m. Friday.
Remaining outages raise concerns for some residents who may have to cope without power during back-to-back storms Friday through Monday.
Wet weather was expected to start spreading in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties after sundown Friday. Forecasters in Sacramento say the first system appears to be the weaker of the two. The second system is expected to have heavy snow, gusting winds and lower snow levels.
“Snow levels will likely be low enough to bring accumulations into the upper foothills with each of these disturbances,” National Weather Service staff said in an update Friday. “Snow could accumulate into the lower foothills and over Interstate 5 Sunday night into Monday.”
More power outages are possible with both incoming storms.
Contact Guy McCarthy at email@example.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.