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Storm brings snow, outages

Eileen JoyceDevin Carol, 14, gives Tyler Maddux, 7, a push down the hill on a skateboard deck Sunday. The boys were using the skateboards as sleds on the snow-covered hills along Sutton Way in Grass Valley.
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Varying snow depths brought a range of reactions as Western Nevada County coped, struggled and rejoiced with the downfall, knowing more might be on its way.

In Graniteville, where the town’s six year-round residents are often snowbound all winter, more than a foot had fallen since 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

It was still falling at 5 p.m. Sunday, and Norma Stone, wife of Graniteville Fire Chief Paul Stone, enjoyed watching big flakes descend on San Juan Ridge’s eastern edge.



“It’s just so beautiful. It’s just like a beautiful winter land,” she said. “Even the dry trees are just loaded with snow.”

The Stones were bracing for several more days of snowfall.




At lower elevations, utility crews contended with power outages caused by fallen trees and branches.

About 1,600 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers along Rattlesnake, Dog Bar and La Barr Meadows roads and parts of Alta Sierra lost power for about 35 minutes Sunday afternoon when a branch landed on a line near Rattlesnake Road, forcing crews to de-energize the line for repair work, PG&E spokesman Skip Hescock said.

A similar incident occurred Sunday morning in Cascade Shores, where residents lost power for about one hour after getting up to 18 inches of snow. Banner Lava Cap also had a few outages, according to Hescock.

“The guys are tired,” Hescock said of company work crews. “But we’re prepared and know that more (snow) might come in.”

He reminded residents that December is the time to year have emergency supplies on hand, such as flashlights, fresh batteries, water, food and firewood. The elderly should try to keep up their medical prescriptions in preparation for a long outage.

At the Cascade Shores General Store, no survival supplies, but rather coffee and beer, were in demand, store worker Gary Kilday said.

“We’ve had it worse in March, February and March, so this nothing new,” he said. As for the remaining winter: “It all depends on this El Nino person.”

No major crashes were reported, but tow companies kept busy, notably on Banner Mountain, Brunswick Road and Highway 20 east of Nevada City, according to Fischer’s Towing driver Jim Smith, who handled six calls in 24 hours. said.

“A lot of people are spinning off the road,” he said.

In other parts of the western county, four inches of snow were reported in Nevada City and Peardale and three inches in the town of Washington. The snow fell with intermittent rain.

The National Weather Service predicts more rain through Thursday. No snow predictions were included in the forecast.


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