A windy, wet holiday
In like a lion, out like a lamb.
This year, it appears Mother Nature won’t be heeding that advice, as residents will be battling high winds, rain and snow until the Times Square ball drops.
Yes, 2002 will end today with snow levels falling to as low as 4,000 feet, with rain buffeted by 50 mile-an-hour winds threatening to topple more power lines, which could force residents to welcome the New Year in the dark.
Those headed for the ski slopes will be treated to more of the white, fluffy stuff as local ski resorts expect up to 2 more feet of snow to fall by Wednesday.
No power outages were reported mid-afternoon Monday, said Skip Hescock, distribution supervisor for the Nevada District of Pacific Gas and Electric, which includes parts of Nevada and Sierra counties. But Hescock said crews were prepared for the worst. In addition to a 21-member crew of electricians and troubleshooters locally, Hescock said he could call on employees from as far away as Placerville and Marysville if the need arose.
“We’re prepared, but it’s hard to estimate at what elevation we’re going to get the most snow,” Hescock said as snow began falling in the Brunswick Basin Monday afternoon.
About 1,600 lost power Sunday, and more could lose power today if the weather doesn’t cooperate, Hescock said. Power was lost in Cascade Shores, parts of Alta Sierra and along Rattlesnake, Dog Bar and La Barr Meadows roads.
“You can’t predict, you just have to be prepared,” he said.
The National Weather Service Monday posted a winter storm warning for the Grass Valley area, but forecasts suggest the brunt of the winter-like weather should dissipate by the middle of the week.
Scattered showers should lead to dry weather by Wednesday, said Steve Martinez of Qwikcast.com, a forecasting service. The rest of the week should be dry, with some clouds due Friday.
No major crashes were reported Monday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection dispatch logs.
One person’s misfortune, however, may turn out to be another’s bliss. Nearby ski resorts will be ringing in the New Year with fresh snow lining their slopes.
Boreal Mountain Resort has received 10 feet of new snow since the last round of storms commenced Saturday. They’re expecting another foot of snow today.
All nine lifts were running and 41 trails were open, said Carrie Roberts, Boreal spokeswoman. “Things are great for the holidays,” she said.
The resort, at 7,200 feet, was full of people, Roberts said. Many skiers remained undaunted at crossing Donner Summit, where snow fell in drifts Monday.
“I think people are doing a pretty good job in getting prepared for this weather,” Roberts said.
Karen Kirbis at Donner Ski Ranch reported “blizzard-like” conditions at the 7,034-foot resort. “The crowds are huge,” she said, noting that three of the resort’s six lifts had to be closed because of high winds.
According to the National Weather Service, the Sacramento region had 7.5 inches of rain – 113 percent of normal – by Monday afternoon.
Nearly 5.5 inches of that came during December storms. The tracking started July 1.
On Monday, crews began work in Reno to repair the sign that arches over North Virginia Street in front of the casino area. The sign, bearing the famous phrase, “The Biggest Little City in the World,” was blown off during hurricane-force winds on Dec. 14.
The El Nino-related storm systems have dumped up to 14 feet of snow in the Sierra this month, according to the weather service.
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