Truckee Donner PUD recovers $1.2 million for storm damage in 2021

Submitted to the Sun
Disaster recovery reimbursement will partially offset nearly $2 million in unbudgeted costs from the historic December 2021 storms.
Provided / Truckee Donner Public Utility District

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Truckee Donner Public Utility District recently received $1.2 million in disaster relief to help offset nearly $2 million in storm-related damage from the historic December 2021 storms. The Truckee region — and overall Sierra Nevada — experienced historic winter storms starting on Dec. 10, 2021, with snowfall records smashed by the end of the month. TDPUD experienced a more than two-week period where significant damage was incurred for both the water and electric utilities.

“This is a great win for our customers. TDPUD’s field crews and staff worked tirelessly in extremely challenging conditions to respond to a series of major weather events and safely restore power,” said Brian Wright, TDPUD general manager. “At the same time, we were advocating to be eligible for the disaster recovery funds and our administrative team did a great job documenting our expenses and completing the disaster recovery application.”

TDPUD began experiencing damage on Dec. 13, which continued relentlessly for more than two weeks. This was an “all-hands” event for the district, and crews worked around the clock to restore power and repair storm damage. This effort, plus the help of mutual aid and additional contract resources, allowed the district to fully restore power to its system by Dec. 27. TDPUD crews and contractors continued to work into 2022 to remove debris piles and fully complete projects related to the December 2021 storms.

The state of California declared an emergency starting on Dec. 10.  However, both Nevada and Placer counties, in which TDPUD operates, had storm damage and declared emergencies on Dec. 26 and 27, respectively. This inconsistency with the state’s declaration could have disqualified the district from state disaster recovery funds. TDPUD, in response, quickly raised awareness of the inconsistency and mobilized state-wide partners to work with CalOES staff both locally and in Sacramento. As a result of this effort, eligibility for disaster recovery was made available to all counties starting Dec. 10, regardless of the actual county declaration.

General December 2021 storm-related damages and costs include:

  • Total district personnel hours worked: 3,378 
  • Total Roseville Electric mutual aid crew hours worked: 1,170
  • 98 tree damage locations addressed
  • Pole replacements: 12
  • Significant pole repairs: 15 (27 total out of 5,000+ poles)
  • 6,840 feet of primary conductor wire down (1+ mile out of ~130 miles overhead)
  • 50 overhead service drops damaged (customer-owned connection to home/business)
  • Mutual aid response: Roseville Electric sent two full electric line trucks, each with a crew of four, who worked tirelessly for nearly 10 days.
  • Additional contract tree crews from Los Angeles to supplement existing crews

The board and staff of the TDPUD again thank our crews for their tireless work, and our customers and community for banding together during times of crisis. This gratitude is also extended to Roseville Electric for their timely mutual aid assistance, a great example of regional collaboration amongst public-owned utilities.

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