Though many Mount Shasta and Weed residents have been pleasantly surprised by a return of their electricity Saturday afternoon, a total of 1,334 customers are still waiting in the dark.
“The outages are mainly in Mount Shasta and Weed, with a few pockets throughout the area which are slower to be repaired due to downed trees,” said Tom Gauntt, Pacific Power’s media representative.
Approximately 120 employees from as far away as Northern Oregon and Washington are assisting local crews in restoring power to all locations.
Gauntt explained the process by which Pacific Power goes about restoring electricity after widespread outages.
“We try to restore the most power to the most people as quickly as possible,” he said. Therefore, work begins with the highest capacity transmission lines which provide electricity to the most populated areas.
At one point, there were 20 power poles that needed to be replaced due to snapping and splintering, Gauntt said.
From there, work continues on individual problems, he said.
“In areas like Siskiyou County, there are often long stretches of lines with relatively few customers, like those between communities... we also have to consider the level of damage. We have to decide what to concentrate energy on. We have people on the ground making those calls, and they get easier as time goes on.”
Gauntt said Pacific Power wanted to use helicopters to assess the damage, however, weather conditions didn’t cooperate. Therefore, crews on the ground used trucks and snowcats to visually inspect lines.
At this point, the full extent of the damage is still unknown, as crews continue to work on the ground.