Breaking News
More () »

'When you have the opportunity, go someplace else' | How residents are being asked to stay safe during power outage

Thousands of trees and dozens of homes were damaged with snapped power poles everywhere in Nevada City from the winter storm.
Credit: AP
Civilian road crews work to help clear a downed tree and utility lines that block Squirrel Creek Road following a snowstorm, Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 28,2021, in Grass Valley, Calif. (Elias Funez/The Union via AP)

NEVADA CITY, Calif. — As emergency crews work to clear the damage in Nevada City, there are dangers everywhere for the families who live nearby. ABC10 spoke to local authorities about how people could stay safe.  

Thousands of trees and dozens of homes were damaged with snapped power poles everywhere. Marc Dyer shared how a tree fell on his son's house. 

"He had to chainsaw his way out of the front door because the tree had totally encapsulated the front door," Dyer said. "It broke through the  house in three places." 

Alta Sierra, in unincorporated Nevada County, was hit hard by six to 10 inches of snow. Totals were way higher than usual.

People are resilient in this community but if they can't get out of their homes, they are sort of stuck. Lt. Sean Scales, with the Nevada County Emergency Operation Center, says people face dangers inside their homes too. 

"People are going to try and run alternate heat sources; you have to do that safely," Scales said. "We have already heard reports of three people who have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning and had to be transported to the hospital." 

Emergency crews are also urging homeowners to take caution so that their generators don't back-feed power into downed PG&E power lines that crews are working on. 

Some PG&E customers told ABC10 they received notifications that the power would be restored on Jan. 6, but the utility company would not confirm the date or how long the electricity could be out. It remains unclear when power will be restored.

Cal Fire is also teaming up with local agencies to clear out the roads. 

"There are some windows of opportunity, watch the weather, pay attention to it and when you have the opportunity, go someplace else," said Jim Mathias, with Cal Fire."