Crews dig out Madera and Mariposa counties, prepare for incoming atmospheric river

Kate Nemarich Image
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Crews dig out Madera, Mariposa counties, prepare for atmospheric river
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The cleanup continues in snow-covered areas of Madera and Mariposa counties as crews prepare for an incoming atmospheric river.

MARIPOSA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The cleanup continued in snow-covered areas of Madera and Mariposa counties on Monday as crews prepared for the latest storm hitting California.

Cal Fire crews were a welcome sight for residents who have been impacted by the heavy snowfall throughout both counties.

Mariposa County Supervisor Shannon Poe walked ABC30 through the home-wrecking weight of the weather.

"So, this is one of my neighbor's houses right here," said Poe. "You can see there's a limb, a portion of a tree, portion of a tree, portion of a tree, that was an enormous oak tree that split into three pieces. One took out her porch, the other one took out both of her outbuildings and smashed them to the ground."

Poe said many snow-weary people in Greeley Hill chose to leave their homes and hope for the best.

In neighboring Madera County, a mandatory evacuation was put in place for one community in Bass Lake when it became too dangerous to stay.

"As we understand there was a mobile home that collapsed due to the overbearing weight of the snow," said Robert Macaulay, Madera County Supervisor.

Cal Fire deployed crews to both counties to assist with cleanup but also plan ahead for the atmospheric river.

"We do have Cal Fire crews out there, triaging, assessing that situation at Sierra Springs Mobile Home Park," said Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue. "Trying to figure out where they can safely get in there and make differences for snow removal and to check and make sure those structures are safe for people to start to re-enter."

Adding to the urgency is the next storm, putting more pressure on rooftops and raising the risk of severe flooding. County officials urging people to prepare now and reach out for resources.

"If they can, they need to try to shore those up with sandbags or do what they can to try to divert that water if they have specific needs," said Pogue. "Or, if they have any issues that we can help with, please reach out to our office, and we'll do everything we can to help them prepare for that upcoming storm."

While assistance from the state is welcome, Poe said he wishes it came sooner.

"There was no help or anything that happened immediately while this was happening," said Poe.

In Greeley Hill, Poe said they are still without power and he doesn't expect that it will be on for another four days.

There is no word for when the evacuation order will be lifted for the RV park in Bass Lake.