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Storm leads to icy roads, frozen pipes

Eileen JoyceA section of Idaho-Maryland Road was closed Tuesday by icy conditions.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

While the snow ended early Monday, Nevada County residents still had to contend with frozen pipes and icy roads from a winter storm that extended its icy grasp into lower elevations.

A Cedar Ridge plumbing company was flooded with phone calls Tuesday from people with frozen pipes and no water.



Mark Davis, owner of Mark Davis Plumbing Inc. on Highway 174, said his business received 50 to 75 calls Tuesday.




People called Davis to figure out what to do with water pipes that had frozen or even burst from the cold.

“We were having a hard time manning the phones with all the lines going,” said Davis.

The business reassigned two crew members from new-home construction to repairs, but still had to turn customers away, he said.

A cold snap froze exposed, outside water pipes, leaving some homeowners without water if they had failed to insulate the pipes or leave faucets dripping overnight.

The low Tuesday for Grass Valley was 18 degrees, the National Weather Service reported. The low was expected to dip again to 17 degrees Tuesday night before the weather warms later in the week.

In Truckee, temperatures plummeted to 15 degrees below zero Monday night, according to the National Weather Service, and to 12 degrees below zero in South Lake Tahoe.

A couple of streets remained closed on Tuesday due to ice left over from Monday’s storm. Idaho-Maryland Road from Sutton Way to Brunswick Road was closed to through traffic. It was expected to be opened by Grass Valley today after the morning rush hour.

An Idaho-Maryland Road business, Grass Valley Hay and Feed, noticed things were kind of slow Monday – no customers came in the first two hours – until it discovered the road was closed 50 yards from the store’s entrance.

Rick McVey, the store’s owner, said he put out a sign stating that the business was open, and the store was busy Tuesday despite the road closure. McVey said the store was not notified of the closure.

The only county road closed was the half-mile Banner Quaker Hill Road, which has a 32 percent grade. Caltrans reported no state highways closed in Nevada County. Nevada City did not report any roads closed.

Some county roads were open but icy, including Pasquale Road, Red Dog Road, Quaker Hill Road, Alta Sierra Drive and Francis Drive.

Road crews were working 24 hours a day to sand roads, said Ken Ribble, the county’s road supervisor, but the low elevation of the cold snap meant extra work. The county has 300 miles of roads (out of 400) below 2,000 feet in elevation, and those roads needed more attention than usual after the storm.

Snow fell at 1,000 feet Monday.

“We’ll continue to be in this mode until we can get the roads in good shape,” said Ribble, which could occur by the end of today.


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