Reporting Ian Schwartz
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The second winter storm moving through the Sacramento region made for many problems in the area.
For many, the commute to the Sierras was the start of an annual celebration.
“We’re up here for the holidays to enjoy some good days of snowboarding,” said one woman.
This year, late goers will start their holiday vacation like no celebration anyone would wish for, stuck in traffic.
The trek up a wet, and in some places frozen, Interstate 80 toward the Sierra left many in crawling traffic. As the sun started to set, traffic would back up at Gold Run.
“It was fine, and then it was slow rolling after that,” said one traveler.
It was frustrating to say the least.
“It took us 40 minutes to go two miles,” said one man.
Then, add on the frustration of getting those chains on.
SMUD customers were also left frustrated after a tree fell onto some power lines.
Crews were working around the clock to restore power to hundreds of homes still left in the dark.
“It’s been pretty nasty all day today; it’s been awful weather,” said one resident.
Heavy rain and strong gusts of wind caused a large pine tree to snap off and collapse onto power lines underneath, knocking out power to at least 20 homes off Rose Street in north Sacramento.
The sound was heard by everyone close by.
“Like a transformer blowing, heard it one time and then the second. I guess brought it down,” said a resident.
The wind caused power outages across the area and SMUD crews, driving around restoring it, had a hard time keeping up.
“I have my little flashlight though, so we have several of these all around the house, so that helps, along with our candles,” resident Mike Seko said.
With no power, many had to cancel their Sunday afternoon plans. No holiday prep cooking and no watching TV. Instead, families in the dark spent their evening together huddled around candles and flashlights. They also had blankets and jackets on inside to keep warm with no heat.
“We’re all really enjoying ourselves because it’s the first time the TV hasn’t been on,” said one woman.
Meanwhile, some wanted to blame CBS13′s meteorologist for the bad weather and long hours stuck in the dark.
“David Bender, you’re on our naughty list,” said Seko.
Others decided to make the most of the situation with some family bonding.
“As good a family night as you can get, it sure is,” a resident said.