Rachel Wulff reporting

SONORA (CBS13) — Tens of thousands are still in the dark in the foothills with temperatures dropping into the 20’s, forcing folks to look for a shelter from the frigid temperatures.

This is the second night this warming shelter is open at Seventh Day Adventist Church. It’s a warm place for those who braved the frigid temperatures.

Bill Moss said he didn’t expect the cold. Moss has never slept in his car before but this marine did what he needed to do to battle the cold.

“I had the bare necessities. I am happy and grateful for that. But when the power goes out it magnifies out of proportion,” he said.

A winter storm knocked out power to 27,000 people in the Mariposa and Tuolumne counties.

Trees were bending with the fresh snow Wednesday. In some cases it caused them to bend and crack and crash down on power lines. Hundreds of PG&E crews were out trying to get power restored.

A PG&E representative said restoration has been slow because they had to pull crews out of areas deemed unsafe.

READ ALSO: Warming Shelters Open As Cold Weather Persists

Trees were reportedly falling on trucks and power lines which then fell onto work vehicles. In other places, downed trees simply slowed crews’ ability to access areas where repairs needed to be made.

A PG&E representative said in some remote areas it might take until Friday or Saturday for power to come back on. That news had some people heading to warming shelters.

Liz Peterson with the Office of Emergency Services said they had to open their first warming shelter in five years.

“It was yesterday and we started working at 10 a.m. to find a location work with our partners like Red Cross to get supplies and find folks to rally,” Peterson said.

Moss is thankful we told him about a warming shelter so he could get warm.

“Thank you, guys! This is a bigger storm than I have seen in a long time,” he said.

Word of Life Church is also open Wednesday night on Highway 108 and could be open the next few nights. Officials will reassess in the morning.


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