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Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

Placer County residents blown away by mass power outages

California experienced a statewide storm with an atmospheric river beginning on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, that brought storm damages and power outages for some Granite Bay residents.
With+power+outages+knocking+out+power+for+approximately+30%2C000+customers+in+Placer+County%2C+many+families+huddled+in+the+darkness+by+candlelight.+
Photo by Sabine Kanz
With power outages knocking out power for approximately 30,000 customers in Placer County, many families huddled in the darkness by candlelight.

California experienced a statewide storm with an atmospheric river beginning on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, that brought storm damages and power outages for some Granite Bay residents.

Damaged power lines knocked out power for many families. As of Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, approximately 30,000 PG&E customers in Placer County remained without power, and about 735,000 PG&E customers statewide experienced a similar blackout. 

For many citizens, this February storm came as a surprise. 

“I only thought it was going to be some heavy rain, but it was definitely much more. It was also surprising because other than some light rain and mild winds earlier in the day, it was actually pretty sunny on Sunday,” said junior Megan Chin. “It didn’t start picking up until about 2:00-3:00 p.m. when the clouds grew thicker.”

The storm brought intense wind speeds, with wind gusts reaching 50 mph in Granite Bay. 

“The wind wasn’t so bad when I went in (to a yoga class). When I came out the wind was really bad,” David Tastor, a teacher at GBHS, said. 

“We had one of the biggest trees in our backyard fall over and into our neighbors yard,” junior Alexandra Lisii said. 

Tastor also saw some downed trees and experienced a tree damage near his home.

“(There) was a big branch from an oak tree, but that fell into the pasture, not near anybody,” Tastor said.

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Senior Mia Mendoza who lives on the cusp between Granite Bay and Loomis, experienced a power outage. 

“About seven o’clock (pm) on Sunday and the lights kind of flicker…(and) go out,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza and her family turned to candlelight for the duration of their blackout. 

“My umbrella actually fell over, one of the umbrella tables, and it snapped over and broke,” Mendoza said. 

During the day, when Chin drove to Rancho Cordova, she saw lots of damage. 

“We actually saw on the side of the road about eight telephone poles that had completely snapped and fallen to the ground,” Chin said. “The storm had also impacted most of the stoplights around town, with them either blinking red or were just shut off completely. 

Chin experienced two power outages, one at 4:30 p.m. and the other later in the evening. However, she was shocked to see an explosion nearby her home. 

There was a tree branch on fire on top of the power line. Barely even 30 seconds later did it cause a mini explosion, ultimately turning off our power for an unknown time and leading officials to close off our street,” Chin said. 

Video courtesy of Megan Chin

According to Chin, her utility company, PG&E, had their power shut until Thursday, Feb. 8 at 10 p.m. 

In addition to power outages, many networks were disrupted. Alexandra Lisii, junior, said she experienced Wi-Fi issues during this storm. Lisii stated that her “wifi did go out however, for hours at a time.”

In response to the storms, Sacramento Regional Transit temporarily suspended operations on Monday, Feb. 5 due to the storm with some light rail lines not returning until Wednesday, Feb. 7.

Additionally, many freeways surrounding the Sacramento area posted travel advisories along the road warning drivers of bad weather conditions in the days to come.

“(I) saw one notice about it on a sign on the freeway when coming home from Sacramento. ‘Avoid travel 2/4-2/6. Severe weather,’” Chin said.

Several schools in the greater Sacramento region were temporarily canceled on Monday, Feb. 5 as a result of this weather as well with students of Jesuit High School, St. Francis High School and Sierra College being among those impacted. 

Granite Bay High School did not cancel classes, but several spring sports tryouts were canceled for Monday, Feb. 5 such as boys golf and boys tennis.

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About the Contributor
Sophie Nguyen, Editor
Sophie is a junior and Opinions Editor. This is her third year on the Gazette staff.

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