NEVADA CITY (CBS13) — Warming centers are providing comfort to hundreds of Nevada County residents still in the dark – a light of hope as PG&E crews work to return power.
“I’ve barely been able to stay in touch whatsoever,” said Galen Krumel.READ MORE: 'It Just Makes Your Heart Melt': Folsom Marine Injured In Kabul Bombing Gets Hero's Welcome Home
Krumel has been working out of the Madeline Helling library in Nevada City because power has been out at his house for nine days.
“It’s great because we have access to power and WiFi as opposed to trying to have calls from home over no power in the dark. It’s kind of comical,” he said.
What isn’t funny is the extent of the damage: hundreds of trees in his nearby neighborhood.
“So many trees down and power poles broken. It’s expansive,” Krumel said.
PG&E has had 1,200 linemen – and crews from other jurisdictions – working around the clock since Christmas to restore power, but thousands are still in the dark.READ MORE: Yolo County Program Trades Safe Fireworks For Illegal Ones
“We were counting poles that are so bad you could stick a number two pencil through them,” said one man who was also walking into the warming center.
Many say PG&E has failed to do the proper maintenance for years. They had hoped it would be better after the court rulings and bankruptcy following the Camp Fire, but many say it hasn’t.
“I feel like I’ve learned more on Facebook than from PG&E themselves,” said Krumel.
With thousands still without power, the county is working to bring firewood and propane to those in need. Snacks and supplies, including battery chargers, are also being offered inside the library.
PG&E also is providing water and snacks at the library and directing people to other resources of the county for help.
“We have an extensive vegetation management program that assesses damaged trees and trims them,” a PG&E spokesperson said. “As for this latest storm and the damage it caused: We understand the frustration. We are working to get power restored as quickly and as safely as possible. It’s been a challenge due to the access issues and the amount of trees down.”MORE NEWS: Experts: California Lacked Safeguards For Gun Owner Info
As of Tuesday, some 21,000 PG&E customers remain without power across El Dorado, Placer, Nevada and Sierra counties. More than 1,200 instances of damage to equipment has been recorded by crews, the utility says.