Mountain communities enduring 3rd night without power

FRESNO, Calif.

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One of the hardest hit areas is Oakhurst, where nearly 4,000 braced for another storm while still trying to recover from the last.

Power crews blocked a lane of road 426 Wednesday afternoon. Around them, the broken trees and snapped power lines showed just part of the challenge they are facing as they try to get the lights back on. While many residents are relying on generators, some in a mobile home park are completely in the dark. "I just wear a shirt and jacket, two pairs of socks, and sweat pants. And I bundle up in blankets, said resident Russell Rask. A thermometer in Rask's house showed it was 50 degrees in the middle of the day.

At a True Value hardware store, an emergency shipment of supplies was scheduled to arrive Wednesday afternoon, after customers wiped shelves of anything providing heat or light.

Everywhere you look in Oakhurst, you can see fallen trees. Some are oaks, split right down to the ground. One landed on Andy Larsen's truck. "At first we thought he was kidding. But then we figured out he wasn't. We came out, looked around and there it was all smashed down on one side," said Larsen.

Inside the house, the family is relying on a wood stove for heat and cooking. "I grew up without electricity so it doesn't bother me. It's easy for me, but I know it's not for a lot of people," said Ann Humrich, Larsen's mother-in-law. The family also has a generator to keep them and their fish comfortable.

But back at Rask's mobile home, he has just about had enough. "I was thinking if it doesn't get better tonight, I might go down to Chukchansi and get a room," said Rask.

A PG&E spokesperson said they hoped to restore power to many customers within the next 24 to 48 hours. But there is still a possibility that the ongoing rain could further delay restoration efforts.

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