Storm updates: Power outages reported across North State; more rain, snow on way
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Strong winds that blew through the North State during an overnight winter storm have left thousands of people without power across the region.
Trinity County was hit especially hard.
The Trinity County Public Utilities District was reporting widespread power outages Thursday morning. The power has been out since Wednesday night, when winds from the storm started picking up.
"Trinity PUD is currently experiencing widespread outages due to a loss of transmission from the Western Area Power Administration. Our crews are working with WAPA on repairs to the line, but we currently do not have an estimated time of restoral," the utility said on its website.
Power outages are affecting residents in Douglas City, Hayfork and Weaverville, according to a recorded phone message from the utility.
Meanwhile, the strong winds knocked down power lines elsewhere across the North State.
The heavy winds toppled power lines in the 15400 block of Fawndale Road, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials said on Thursday morning.
Officials said the power lines landed near a tree but no fires or injuries were reported.
Mountain Gate Fire Protection District and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. workers responded to the incident just before 7 a.m., Cal Fire said.
PG&E's power outage map on Thursday morning showed several outages across Shasta County. Most outages are east of Anderson, according to the map.
There is no estimated time for when the power will be restored.
Winds were clocked as high as 70 mph on some mountain peaks in the area of Lake Shasta, the National Weather Service said. Winds also were strong east of Redding in the Shingletown area.
Redding Regional Airport recorded a peak gust of 55 mph around 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, said Cory Mueller, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Sacramento.
The winds started to subside after midnight as the storm blew through the region, Mueller said.
As of 8 a.m., the Redding airport had received about an inch of rain from the storm. Shasta Dam had recorded 2.48 inches, the National Weather Service said.
"I think the Bay Area got hit a little harder with this storm, especially the North Bay, Lake County seems to be bulls-eye with this storm system. Then when you got into the Sacramento Valley it lost a little bit of steam with the aspect of heavier rain," Mueller said.
But plenty of rain is still to come.
The North State can expect to see periods of rain Thursday before a small break in the wet weather.
More rain will begin to move over the northern Sacramento Valley on Friday and then the second in a series of strong storms hits the region over the weekend.
Redding is expected to see more than 2 inches of rain from the weekend storm, which also will pack high winds, though not as gusty as Wednesday night, Mueller said.
"Then the train of storms just isn't done. We will see another storm next Monday and Tuesday and that one looks a little wetter," he said.
Redding could get up to 4 inches of rain from next week's storm, according to the National Weather Service.
Avalanche Center issues warning for Mt. Shasta area
The Mount Shasta Avalanche Center issued an avalanche warning, in effect Thursday through 9 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 8.
The warning covers Mount Shasta, Castle Lake, the Eddy Mountains and the Ash Creek Butte area east of Mount Shasta. Areas above 7,000 feet are at the most risk.
People should avoid recreating ― skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, etc. ― in backcountry areas unless they have avalanche skills, the Avalanche Center recommended.
“Very large natural and human-triggered avalanches are expected above, near and below (the) tree line,” said Samuel Clairmont at the Avalanche Center on Thursday morning.
Those conditions will continue as the “powerful winter storm continues to hammer” the mountain “with strong winds, and a lot of new snow," Clairmont said.
Risk levels for avalanches on Mt. Shasta were high at and above the tree line; “considerable” below it, the Avalanche Center reported Thursday.
For updates go to the Avalanche Center's website at shastaavalanche.org.