Residents left in dark as power outages continue in mountain communities

Saturday, March 4, 2023
Residents left in dark as power outages continue in mountain communities
Another round of snow is expected this weekend and nearly 3,000 customers in Madera County are still without power on Friday night.

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Another round of snow is expected this weekend and nearly 3,000 customers in Madera County are still without power tonight.

Some areas could be restored by 11 p.m. Friday, but it has been nearly a week as cold temperatures and minimal access to supplies continues to be an issue.

Residents in the foothills said this long stretch without electricity is one to remember.

"This didn't happen when I was a kid, I grew up here, did not happen. Power was out for a couple hours tops, even in the worst storms," explained Chelsea Wilhite, Oakhurst Resident.

Chelsea lives in west Oakhurst and has been keeping warm with a generator for now. At lower elevations the snow build up isn't quite unexpected, but being without power for an extended amount of time is what has people taken off guard.

Some topped-off at the local gas station only to return home, fill up the tractors and generators, and continue plowing.

"Even during fire season, we weren't out for seven full days," added Wilhite.

Homeowners in North Fork met our ABC30 crew at a nearby gas station, fearing that we could get stuck if we tried to meet them at their home.

"A lot of driveways are completely impacted with snow, you can't get up them, mine included mine has a lot of snow on it. Or maybe the incline is so steep along with the snow, you just can't get up them," said Lisa Laurence, Bass Lake resident.

ABC 30 has reached out to PG&E, with no response. According to their website power in some areas is scheduled to come back on tonight, but residents say they don't have high hopes.

"We're day seven right now and I'm told that my power will possibly restore next Tuesday," explained Laurence.

"It gets to the deadline where they say it's going to be restored, and then within a couple of hours of that deadline they push it back another two days," said Wilhite.

For the latest information on power outages and to access the outage map, click here.

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