By CBS13 Staff

COLFAX (CBS13) — Colfax Mayor Pro Tem Marnie Mendoza says heavy traffic up I-80 is hampering efforts to get the city back on its feet.

“What [travelers] have to remember is that this is our backyard,” she tells CBS13. “And when they’re coming up here and blocking the freeways, we can’t have emergency services get to where they need to go.”

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Most of Colfax lost power December 26 after record-breaking snow toppled trees, which took down power lines with them. Many residents are still stuck in their homes, however, officials said power was restored for the downtown area Thursday afternoon. for businesses and homes.

Mendoza says travelers coming up the mountain aren’t just hurting rescue efforts, but also taking away resources, like gasoline for generators.

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Tonie Costa, a Colfax Resident, told CBS13 she had to drive all the way to Roseville to buy more tanks of gas because all of the stations from Auburn up were out.

Tens of thousands of people in the Sierra foothills are still waiting for Pacific Gas and Electric to restore power. Assistant Director of Placer County Office of Emergency Services Dave Atkinson says it’s a logistical nightmare.

“You’ve got to get the snow out of the way, and then we get through the snow and there’s a tree, and sometimes that tree is tangled in a powerline,” he said.

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Placer County says manpower is also spread thin right now. It asks that if you need help, but it is not emergency, to call 211. If it is an emergency, call 911.