Storm slams county, Union |

Storm slams county, Union

High winds and heavy rains whipped Nevada County Thursday night, downing trees and power lines and leaving countless utility customers – including this newspaper – without power.

The Union had to be printed in Auburn after all power was lost at its offices and printing plant at 10 p.m.

“I apologize to all of our readers who received their paper late,” said publisher Jeff Ackerman early today.

“But thanks to our friends at the Auburn Journal, we continue to publish.”

“It’s kind of hit everywhere,” said Sheriff’s Office communications manager Kim Estes. “It’s just ugly.”

Glenbrook Basin, where The Union is located, shared the impact with Nevada City, Chicago Park and elsewhere. A call from Alta Sierra was on the line when Estes outlined the damage.

“This is really a heavy storm,” Pacific Gas & Electric Co. spokesman Paul Moreo said from his San Francisco office. “Mother Nature really dealt us a blow tonight.”

At 11:15 p.m., his computer showed 356,000 customers across Northern California without power. That was down from a high at one time of 825,000.

Three hundred crews went “from outage to outage”restoring power, Moreno said, and with more storms expected today, they would likely work through the weekend.

No Nevada County outage figures were available immediately. For customers who lose power, here commended unplugging appliances to avoid power surges when the power returns.

At the Emergency Command Center outside Grass Valley,dispatchers handled 50 to 60 calls between 8 and 11p.m., a number rarely reached in an entire day.

“There’s just a ton of wires down, and that doesn’t

count secondary lines,” said Capt. Mike Deme of the

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

In downtown Grass Valley, a police officer filling in at the dispatch

desk said, “Certain little pockets of town are blacked out, but we’re not.”

Despite it all, however, officials reported no injuries.

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