Lake Tahoe-area power outages almost completely restored (updates) | SierraSun.com

Lake Tahoe-area power outages almost completely restored (updates)

Staff report

Update 6 p.m. Friday:

Following are some updates today from Liberty Utilities about the recent outages, going with the most recent information first:

5:15 pm — Floriston, River Road/Silver Creek/Fir Crags/Hwy 89 and Martis Valley Road area near Truckee is restored. Sudan Road (Tahoe Vista/Carnelian Bay was repaired, but secondary issue was discovered; estimated restoration time is 7 pm. Thank you for your patience and understanding as Liberty worked through these weather-related outages.

4:15 pm — Floriston and River Road/Silver Creek/Fir Crags/Hwy 89: Power has been restored.  Sudan Road (Tahoe Vista/Carnelian Bay) and Martis Valley Road area near Truckee:  Power estimated to be restored by 5 pm tonight.  Some single service outages remain and will be repaired as crews are available.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as Liberty worked through these weather-related outages.

2 pm — Floriston: Line has been rebuilt and power restored. River Road/Silver Creek/Fir Grags/Hwy 89: Progress today; power should return by this evening. Sudan Road (Tahoe Vista/Carnelian Bay): Crews continue to dig out vaults looking for problem, but have determined it is not a transformer issue so power could be restored by this evening. New Outage:  Tree fell on primary and secondary lines affecting areas around Martis Valley Road near Truckee.  Approx. 300 customers w/out power; expected restoration by early evening.

11:00 am — Goal is to have remaining customers without power restored by tonight at latest.  River Road/Silver Creek/Fir Gras/Hwy 89:  Helicopter assisting crew with repairs.  Floriston:  Crews rebuilding line after attempts to install generator for temporary power failed.  Sudan Road (Tahoe Vista/Carnelian Bay):  33 customers w/out power due to bad underground connection; crews on site making repairs.  IF YOU EXPERIENCE AN OUTAGE IN AN AREA NOT LISTED ABOVE, PLEASE REPORT.  Liberty Utilities thanks our customers for their patience during this latest winter storm damage.

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Visit https://california.libertyutilities.com/truckee/residential for updates from Liberty Utilities.


Update 7:30 p.m. Thursday:

The following updates were provided to media from Liberty Utilities:

Floriston: After working nearly 24 hours and bringing in a second generator, attempts to provide temporary power have failed.  Crews will begin to rebuild the line on Friday in this steep terrain with the goal of restored power by early Saturday morning.

River Road/Silver Creek/Fir Crags/Hwy 89: Crews were able to begin repairs today; a helicopter will come in tomorrow to complete with restoration expected late Friday/early Saturday.

Sudan Road (Tahoe Vista/Carnelian Bay): 33 customers out due to bad underground connection; expected restoration is 11pm Friday. Liberty continues to use hired crews to augment repair efforts including single service outages.


Update 1 p.m. Thursday:

The following is a statement from Liberty Utilities sent to the media at about 1 a.m. Thursday:

“We have discovered a tree leaning on the distribution line feeding Martis Camp/Sierra Meadows/Lahontan/Shafer's Mill area. At approximately 1:30-2:00pm today, power will be shut off to this area so the tree can be removed from the line.  The expected restoration time will be approximately 1 hour after the power is shut down.”


Update 11 a.m. Thursday:

Below is an update from Liberty Utilities — which has restored power to all customers, except for the following areas — of about 11 a.m. Thursday:

Portola: A couple single service issues remain that should completed today.

River Road/Silver Creek/Fir Crags/Hwy 89: If weather cooperates, power could be restored by Friday night/Saturday morning.

Floriston: Lots of wire down in this area that will take time to repair. Crews attempted to install a generator last night but had difficulties; they are trying again this morning. Floriston customers should turn off personal generators and turn on their mains.

Sudan Road (Tahoe Vista/Carnelian Bay): 33 customers out due to bad underground connection; crews will attempt to dig out this afternoon — won't know estimated restoration time until they find problem.


Update 8 a.m. Thursday:

Below are updates from both Liberty Utilities and the Truckee Donner PUD, as either supplied to the media or published online:

Liberty Utilities, media email statement at 8 a.m. Thursday: All customers' power has been restored with these exceptions; Portola: a couple single service issues remain that should completed Thursday; River Road/Silver Creek/Fir Crags/Hwy 89: If weather cooperates, power could be restored by Friday night/Saturday morning; Floriston: Lots of wire down in this area that will take time to repair. Crews attempted to install a generator last night but had difficulties; they are trying again this morning.

From the Truckee Donner PUD, according to a 7:10 p.m. Wednesday statement: “TDPUD responded to numerous outages today related to both transmission and locally on our electric distribution system. Crews have responded and have restored power to most of our customers. However, there are some isolated areas around town, including portions of Sierra Meadows and the west end of Donner Lake, that remain out of power. We remind everyone to be safe and prepared and call the TDPUD at 530-587-3896 to report any outages or downed lines.”

In a Thursday morning interview, TDPUD spokesman Steven Poncelet confirmed the major areas of Truckee (downtown and beyond) were restored at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday; crews continue to work on other problem areas Thursday morning.

Visit http://www.tdpud.org to stay updated in Truckee, and visit https://california.libertyutilities.com/truckee/residential for updates from Liberty Utilities.


Update 6 p.m. Wednesday:

Truckee Donner Public Utility District spokesman Steve Poncelet told the Sierra Sun at about 6 p.m. Wednesday that “we’ve had a lot of trees falling, more of the same,” in reference to recent storm damage.

While many Glenshire customers' problems were restored this afternoon, "we had a transmission problem cause a problem with (our main Truckee transformer) … which is affecting (the Pioneer Center area), downtown, Gray's Crossing — mainly the general middle of town."

"By early as this evening, we hope to have power restored," for the roughly 2,600 customers still out, Poncelet said.

He added that there is some "pretty localized, significant damage" in some areas like Prosser, Sierra Meadows, and on the west shore of Donner Lake that crews are working day and night to restore.

"Those areas will likely be out overnight," he said.

Visit http://www.tdpud.org to stay updated in Truckee, and visit https://california.libertyutilities.com/truckee/residential for updates from Liberty Utilities.


Update: 3:50 p.m. Wednesday:

A spokeswoman for the Truckee Donner Public Utility District confirmed to us by phone at about 3:45 p.m. that the main outage that happened about an hour and a half ago is affecting a great deal of Truckee’s customers.

It involves issues at the main substation; it’s the agency’s top priority, but as of a half hour ago, crews said it still may take “several hours” to fix.

Once more details become available, we’ll publish them.

Visit http://www.tdpud.org to stay updated in Truckee, and visit https://california.libertyutilities.com/truckee/residential for updates from Liberty Utilities.


Update: 2 p.m. Wednesday:

Over the past half hour, widespread power outages have occurred across much of Truckee.

According to a source familiar with the Truckee Donner PUD, one of the agency’s main transformer’s malfunctioned, and there is no estimated time for when power to much of the town will be restored.

Meanwhile, below is the latest, as of 2 p.m. , update from Liberty Utilities:

Truckee/Glenshire: Helicopter still scouting area; no restoration estimate at this time.

Kings Beach Downtown: All customers will be restored by 2 p.m. today.

River Road/Silver Creek/Fir Crags Rd/Hwy 89: Customers should continue to plan for extended outage.

Smaller outages will be assessed and repaired as crews are available in the Portola, West Shore and other scattered areas.

Visit http://www.tdpud.org to stay updated in Truckee, and visit https://california.libertyutilities.com/truckee/residential for updates from Liberty Utilities.

For those in Incline Village or on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, visit https://www.nvenergy.com/outage for updates.


Update: 11 a.m. Wednesday:

Regarding power outages across the Truckee Donner PUD, the agency published the following update to its web page Wednesday morning, reportedly at 10:30 a.m.:

“We are experiencing a transmission outage impacting portions of Glenshire and other outages around town. Crews are responding. We remind everyone to be safe and prepared and call the TDPUD at 530-587-3896 to report any outages or downed lines.”

Visit http://www.tdpud.org to stay updated, and visit https://california.libertyutilities.com/truckee/residential for updates from Liberty Utilities. For those in Incline Village or on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, visit https://www.nvenergy.com/outage for updates.


9:30 a.m. Wednesday update:

Tuesday night's storm caused extensive damage to the Liberty Utilities system; a helicopter has been dispatched to patrol the area to assess damage, according to the company.

“We have opened our Emergency Operations Centers in both NLT and SLT to coordinate response,” officials said.

Below is an update on area outages:

Glenshire: Most customers without power; no estimated restoration time until helicopter assessment is complete.

Kings Beach Downtown: A tree fell through a wire early Wednesday morning; crews on site making repairs with power expected to return by 3 p.m.

River Road/Silver Creek/Fir Crags Rd/Hwy 89: Avalanche danger still making access difficult; helicopter will patrol Wednesday to make damage assessment. Customers should continue to plan for extended outage.

Further, smaller outages will be assessed and repaired as crews are available. 

Visit https://california.libertyutilities.com/truckee/residential for updates.

The original story from 7a.m. Wednesday is below:


TRUCKEE, Calif. — The latest wet winter storm to hit the Truckee-Tahoe region is forecast to die down this morning, according to the National Weather Service in Reno.

A winter storm warning remains in effect until 10 a.m. Wednesday for the region, with up to 3 extra inches of snow possible at high elevations.

Wind gusts at lake level of nearly 35 mph, and up to 80 mph across Sierra ridge tops, are still likely Wednesday, according to NWS.

"Bands of snow and blowing snow could produce rapid drops in visibility, with dangerous whiteout conditions especially over the passes and in the backcountry," according to the warning.

Once again, as was the case all day Monday and Tuesday, road conditions will be very sketchy throughout the Tahoe-Truckee region, with chain and/or snow tire restrictions in place across all major highways as crews deal with avalanches, mudslides, whiteout conditions and other major travel impacts.

Closures to certain highways — particularly Interstate 80 between Reno and Truckee — have been off and on since Sunday night.

Visit the California Department of Transportation website and Nevada Department of Transportation website for up-to-the-minute road conditions, or follow the California High Patrol's Facebook pages for its Truckee and South Lake Tahoe branches to learn more.

The weather caused on-and-off power outages across certain areas in Truckee Monday and Tuesday due to heavy snow and wind; residents are encouraged to visit the Truckee-Donner Public Utility District at http://www.tdpud.org to stay updated.

As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, Liberty Utilities has the following updates for power outages in its coverage area:

Portola: Trees fell on primary line; crews on site making repairs; most customers should be restored by 10 p.m.

River Road/Silver Creek/Fir Crags Road/Hwy 89: Avalanche danger and weather conditions prohibiting crews from accessing damage; customers should plan on multi-day outage. We hope to access Wednesday morning.

Ward Canyon: Broken pole; estimate most customers restored by 10 p.m.

Kings Beach: Most of community lost power earlier Tuesday evening due to blown circuits; all but one have been repaired. Crews are trying to isolate and repair final circuit with restoration hoped for by early morning.

Additional smaller outages throughout rest of service territory that are being assessed and repaired; no restoration times are known.

Visit https://california.libertyutilities.com/truckee/residential for updates.

Snowfall totals — 7 feet in 7 days

The below snowfall totals are unofficial, as they’re according to ski resort snow reports as of 7 a.m. Wednesday. Still, most are reporting an average snowfall total of roughly 7 feet across the span of 7 days:

• At upper mountain, Squaw Valley reported 12 inches of new snow overnight, and 22 inches in the past 24 hours, making for 85 inches across 7 days and a 252-inch base.

• Sugar Bowl at Donner summit reported receiving 14 inches of snow overnight and 20 inches in the last day at its 8,383-foot summit, accounting for a 237-inch base. That’s 84 inches in the past 7 days, at up to 620 inches total for the 2016-17 season.

• The numbers at Northstar California are as follows: 19 inches in last 12 hours and 36 inches in the past 24 hours, making for 83 inches across past 7 days for a 113-inch base death so far this season, which has now seen 534 inches of snow.

• Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is reporting 72 to 78 inches of new snow from the past few days, with an average based death now of 216 inches and a total of 636 inches so far this season.

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