Though over 1,300 area residents are still without power as of early Friday evening, many are breathing a sigh of relief as they continue to dig out from the severe winter strom that hit the Mt. Shasta area starting late Tuesday night.
Despite the fact that area locals are used to big snows, this storm was particulary severe, given the warmer and heavier snow that fell. With strom totals of over 42” reported, the forest canopy could simply not bear the weight.
State of Emergency
The weighted branches downed power lines, fell on structures and damaged vehicles, leading to the state and county declaring a state of Emergency.
Steve Leal of Siskiyou Human Services was at the temporary Red Cross Shelter at the Mt. Shasta Community Center yesterday and said that they had seen 10 people that day, most who just stopped in to warm up and dry off a bit.
For Ann Cropper and her sun Gabe, who moved to the area from Sacramento four and half months ago, the shelter was welcome relief from their home, which was without heat.
“Our next house is going to have a wood stove for sure, “ said Cropper, explaining that, while nice, the only heating in her Davis Place rental is monitor, which requires electricity.
For her son Gabe Brown, a tenth grader at Mt. Shasta high school, the strom was pretty cool...until they lost power. “At least were not in Hati,” said Brown, keeping a positive spin on things.
Cropper said that they spent Thursday night at the shelter and were planning to spend Friday night, as well. (A visit to the Red Cross emergency relief center on Saturday found nobody there. Red Cross staff reported that it has been slow all day, as most residents in town got their power back.)
For Mt. Shasta resident Sue Waller, a sauna and swim at the Weed Wellness Center was the answer to living without the convenience of hot water. Waller, however, said she was enjoying the power outage. “It’s kind of like being on a camping trip,” she said, reflecting on how doing with less can be a chance to slow down.
For Adam, who was plowing snow off of Columbine Road in Hammond Ranch, the storm was good business. “This is a chance to make some money,” he said. With several feet on the ground and more to come, the storm served to, in a small way, stimulate the economy.
Not everybody toughed it out through the storm, however. Dave Vogt of Mt. Shasta said he and the family went down to Redding. “We’ve been in long outages before and just didn’t feel like dealing with it,” he said.
Though she didn’t go as far as Redding, Andrea Carpentier-Alting said that she and her husband did move to a friends house for two days, as they had a generator.
For Ahava, weathering the storm was ok until cabin fever set in. She said that part of the challenge was taking care of her two toddlers without the convenience of power.
For many, the storm had its scary moments. Todd Ellorin of Mt. Shasta described the peak of the storm, when limbs were falling everywhere, as ‘spooky’.
Unfortunately, the roof of thet Ellorin's house was crushed by a falling tree. Despite the damages, they remained positive, noting that they were not there when it happened. “Hey, its only a house,” said Leslie Ellorin.
For recreationalist, the snow is a welcome relief from a season that, just days ago, was looking bleak. However, while the snow is here, many skiers and boarders are still chomping at the bit, given that the Ski Park has been closed due to the power outages for the last three days.
Backcountry skiers have reported exploring lower elevation terrain closer to town, as the more traditional areas, such as Bunny Flat and Castle Lake have yet to be plowed out.
For the Siskiyou Sled Dog Race Association, the recent stroms were welcome but definitely posed challenges.The following update recently appeared on the organizations website: “Due to the extreme weather, the resources we had lined up to prepare the distance trail between Pilgrim Creek and Dear Mountain/Chuck Best Snowmobile Part were redirected to emergency services in the Mount Shasta area which was hit hardest by the storm with areas still without power – those issues may continue through the weekend unfortunately, but Weed is in fine shape for those of you looking for lodging and all the racing events. The Races are on! You’ll never hear a musher say there’s too much snow!”
If you have stories about your ‘storm experience’, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 926-5214.