Neighbors help each other during days-long power outage in Madera County

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Neighbors help each other after storms cause days-long power outage in Madera County
Many mountain communities have been without power for four days during a series of powerful winter storms.

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Many mountain communities have been without power for four days during a series of powerful winter storms.

As of Tuesday evening, there were more than 6,000 customers without heat or lights in Madera County.

Resident Buzz Clark says he's been waiting days for the power to be restored.

This has been a nightmare, this has been a nightmare. We can't get out, we shopped good, we tried to prepare as well as we could, we didn't expect this," Clark explained.

He lives in Sierra Springs Village Mobile Home Park, one of the areas that had to evacuate just under two months ago due to severe flooding.

Clark and his wife recently moved to the Bass Lake area when their home was burned in the Paradise Fire.

He says it's been a rough weather season.

Since we've been here, we've been evacuated about four times for fire, and then the flood, and now this," said Clark.

BUT many people have come to the rescue to help out residents like Clark.

Thankfully, one man was clearing the three feet of snow off of Clarks roof.

Concerned citizens like Steve Arata and Jeff Aiello took to the snowy streets to deliver necessities.

"This is my hometown, I grew up here in Bass Lake. We'd love it to help our folks out, especially our older folks," said Aiello.

They were driving door to door helping those who need it the most.

The pair dropped off milk, bread, and extra gas for those surviving on a gas generator, like Clark.

According to PG&E, there are more than 8,000 people without power in the Madera, Merced, and Mariposa area.

While the utility has the crews and resources they need, their main hindrance is getting access to areas with blocked roads.

A PG&E spokesperson is asking for patience as they prioritize the first wave of outages from last week.

"It's kind of been one after the other, it's kind of like a domino effect at this point, so just trying to remain positive," said Kelli McClarty of Madera.

The good news is that forecast has sun, which is much needed.

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