Tahoe power outages: Floriston, Tahoma areas back online (updated)

Kevin MacMillan
Downed power lines and trees (like seen here Wednesday in the area of Prosser Lakeview Estates in Truckee) has plagued the Tahoe-Truckee region all week.
Courtesy Rich Mangum

Click here for fresh updates as of Monday morning regarding power outages.

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m. SUNDAY:

Liberty Utilities is making progress on restoring power across the region.

As of Sunday morning, the company’s main focus will be on the Tahoe Pines and River Road areas along Highway 89 on the West Shore, “which has been the most damaged and difficult to reach.” Those areas may still be without power for one or more days.

That said, Liberty was able to restore power to the Floriston/Portola area by 5:30 p.m. Saturday, according to a statement from the company Saturday evening.

“Most of the Tahoma area has been restored with the rest of the West Shore expected to be back online in 24 hours or so,” officials said.

Meanwhile, the Tahoe City PUD moved its warming shelter Sunday to Rideout Community Center at 740 Timberland Drive. According to the PUD, the center will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

The original story from Saturday morning is below.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The number of customers still without power across Truckee due to this week’s massive snow storm is down to about 100 as of Saturday morning, an official said.

Across town, the Truckee Donner PUD had gotten the number of outages down to about 600 as of Thursday morning, Steven Poncelet, spokesman for the PUD, told the Sierra Sun Saturday morning.

But then it snowed again Thursday, and a large tree fell across Northwoods Boulevard, blocking traffic and taking out more power lines. Because of that, among other complications, those without power soared to about 1,700 by Friday morning and afternoon.

Crews worked overnight for the fourth consecutive night Friday to fix the problems, Poncelet said.

“We were at 1,700 yesterday, and we had it down to 100 (at about 9 a.m.) this morning, and those are almost entirely individual homes,” Poncelet said. The crews have been going day and night, and they’re going to continue today and tonight until we get everybody.”

In the meantime, with thousands of visitors and second-homeowners making their way into the Truckee-Tahoe region Friday and Saturday to ski for MLK weekend, Poncelet is urging everyone to be vigilant, drive safe and be on the lookout for emergency and utility equipment.

If anyone sees downed power lines (or trees on lines), stay away from them and call TDPUD immediately at 530-587-3896 to report the problem. Look for updates this weekend on the PUD’s website.

As for Lake Tahoe, restoration efforts from Libery Utilities continue Saturday on the North, West and South shores.

“We had our team go into River Rd. by helicopter (Friday) to assess the plan for getting crews in safely,” according to a statement Friday evening from the company. “A helicopter is coming in from Southern California early afternoon (Saturday) and will drop crews and equipment into the region to begin restoration that is expected to take several days.

“Snow cats and snowmobiles will be used to get crews and equipment into Tahoe Pines (Saturday), also expected to be several days.”

As previously reported, the West Shore of Lake Tahoe has been hardest hit, with some customers being without power since Sunday.

According to Liberty, the company plans to update its website and will inform media should anything change this weekend.

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