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More Than 10K Homes, Businesses in PG&E’s Fresno Division Lose Power

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Wind gusts of up to 40 mph and rain-soaked ground knocked out power for more than 10,000 customers in PG&E's Fresno division on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)
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High winds and steady rain are causing Fresno area trees to fall and cut out electricity, PG&E officials said Tuesday afternoon.

As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, the utility company reported that 10,053 customers were without power in its Fresno division. The division covers Fresno County, most of Kings County, and parts of Tulare County.

Another 7,581 customers in the Yosemite division were experiencing outages. That division includes Madera, Merced, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Mariposa counties.

PG&E customers can check on the estimated time for restoration of service at this link.

Second-Most Snow in California History

This season is the second snowiest in the 77 years of record-keeping at the Central Sierra Snow Lab — more than 56.4 feet with no end in sight.

And, there’s still a chance it could surpass the record of 67.7 feet set in 1951-52 when more than 200 passengers on a San Francisco-bound luxury train from Chicago were stranded for three days near Donner Pass west of Truckee.

Over the weekend, the “winter that just doesn’t want to end” as the National Weather Service in Reno put it, topped the previous No. 2 record of 55.9 feet set in 1982-83. That was the second of back-to-back blizzard buster seasons remembered most for an avalanche that killed seven at a Tahoe ski resort on March 31, 1982.

The official record-book keeper is UC-Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Lab, founded in 1946 in Soda Springs, northwest of Lake Tahoe.

“We’ve seen bigger storms in other years and years with higher snow water equivalent totals … but the relentlessness of this season is likely what makes it most unique,” said Andrew Schwartz, the lab’s manager and lead scientist.

Working inside a nearly 18-foot-deep snow pit at the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab, from left, Shaun Joseph, Claudia Norman, and Helena Middleton take measurements of snow temperatures ahead of a weather storm on March 9, 2023, in Soda Spring. The more than 55 feet of snow that a dozen storms have dumped on the mountains along the Nevada-California line this season has etched its way into the history books as the second snowiest on record at the Central Sierra Snow Lab. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group via AP)

(Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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