SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento Municipal Utilities District says over 140,000 residents in the Sacramento Valley were without power at some point over the past 24 hours due to Wednesday’s storm.
Crews have been working around-the-clock to restore power. But hundreds are still stuck in the dark.
“I have a brand new roof and thought, well that’s that,” said Carl DiStefano. He says he is lucky that crews are just working to remove trees and not to rebuild his roof, which was damaged when huge trees fell in both his front and back yards. The trees in the front yard missed the roof, but power lines slowed the fall and the subsequent impact of the backyard tree that landed on his roof.
Power lines may have saved the Di Stefano house, but SMUD crews are aggressively working to repair those power lines to restore power to those still stuck in the black.
Jonathon Tudor, a spokesperson for SMUD, says the big issue has been the past few weeks of rain, which has saturated the soil. Factor in last night’s 40- 50-mile-per-hour wind gusts, and the result has been downed trees leading to massive power outages.
“The gusts of wind were a little higher than we originally predicted. With that said, we literally didn’t have more crews available to put out at that point,” said Tudor.
The high winds also made it dangerous for crews to get to work, which led to more delays.
“The bucket trucks that take line crews up into the air, for them, it’s not necessarily safe to work through 40-50 mile per hour gusts of winds. So that sometimes delays our work,” explained Tudor.
Many residents understand the work isn’t easy. But for Jamal Rivers, whose brother is autistic, 24 hours with no electricity had been a big challenge. They’ve had relied on neighbors for help.
“On my street, still no power. The other side has power. So I went to a neighbor’s house for help. They were happy to help. But it’s been very difficult without power,” said Rivers.
SMUD has all is crews working nonstop, but with more winds on the way late Thursday night into early Friday morning, they are warning residents to expect more power outages.
However, because so many trees came down in Wednesday’s storm, they hope there will be fewer outages.