A series of snow storms pounded Mount Shasta this week and left thousands without power. It continues to be a very hazardous situation. One of the biggest problems has been the weight of the snow, which has snapped trees into power lines. Strong winds have aggravated the problem.
An official with the Mount Shasta Police Department said about one quarter of the town remained without power as of Thursday evening. Power has been out since Tuesday afternoon for much of Mount Shasta and McCloud, and remained out through Wednesday. Police and emergency crews expect more power outages as trees continue to snap into power lines.
The Mt. Shasta Community Building at 629 Alder will be open throughout the night and into the weekend as a shelter and warming station. Those with emergencies should contact the Mount Shasta Police Department at 926-7540.
A state of emergency has been declared in Siskiyou and four other counties by Attorney General Jerry Brown.
Area schools including the College of Siskiyous in Weed were closed on Wednesday and Thursday.
I received an update from COS photography instructor Jim Gilmore, who also writes the Siskiyou County cultural blog: The Jefferson Agrarian .
Here’s what Jim had to say as of late Thursday:
“Snow began in earnest on Tuesday, with sporadic I-5 closings. There was three feet of snow (too much to shovel) and downed trees. Live wires laying in the road on Oak Street made me happy I was wearing my rubber snow boots. Power out throughout town. Had a sandwich at Chris and Dena’s Deli, where Chris hand cut our sandwich meat, since there was no power!
Went home to McCloud Avenue, just up from Billy Goat Tavern. Huge tree down on A Street, took out a main power line. Everybody was without power. Snow kept coming, not hard but very steady accumulation. With help of a neighbor, we shoveled out the driveway. Early to bed that night, due to sore muscles and no elecrticity. Kinda cool with the wood stove and a kerosene lamp — talk about old school. But the bonebreaking sounds of trees snapping, both near and far, made for a restless sleep.
Awoke this morning to another 18 inches of the white stuff, and a huge downed oak tree across McCloud Avenue, from Bret and Nancy’s (owners of Maddalena’s in Dunsmuir) yard. That took out more power lines. Doesn’t look like we’ll have power until the weekend at the soonest.
Talked to neighbor Todd Ellorin, who had evacuated his family just before an old oak tree completely uprooted and fell through his living room. They’d spent the night with friends on B Street, just up from Bret and Nancy’s. Wouldn’t you know it, a tree fell on that house, too. Todd also told a harrowing tale of a family close by who were using a gas-powered backup generator, and suffered carbon monoxide poisoning. He thought at least four had been taken to the hospital (which explains the early evening ambulance we saw). It underscored how serious things are getting.
I dug my VW out for the third and final time this afternoon.
I’d seen this much, and maybe more, snow before. One of my neighbors, John Sennet, has lived around Mount Shasta for 50 or so years. None of the oldtimers remember a storm ever wreaking this kind of havoc. But the widespread damage from fallen oaks and conifers — trees that have withstood a century of storms — signifies that it’s the WEIGHT of the snow that is causing the problems.”