A statement on the winter storms from Placer County Supervisors Robert Weygandt and Cindy Gustafson

Published on Dec. 29, 2021

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What a storm it has been, Placer County. 

After years of drought, the amount of rain and snow we’ve had this month is almost hard to believe. Yet as welcome as it has been, it has also added up to serious challenges and hazards. While it’s not over yet, we are persevering and Placer County and our first responder partners continue to work around the clock to help us get through this.

First, we’d like to express our appreciation to our community members for their resilience and patience. Disaster preparedness, our emergency responders always say, begins at home. And our residents are among the best prepared in the state. We’ve heard countless stories of neighbors helping neighbors, and we’re grateful to everyone who’s done their part to keep themselves and families safe and limit the burden on our first responders. 

As usual, the efforts of our first responders have been unparalleled. On top of responding to the usual emergency calls that happen every day, they’ve lent a hand with road clearing and helping seniors dig out of their homes, among many other things that have contributed to an all-hands-on-deck response. They even helped deliver a baby on I-80! We’re never surprised but are always inspired by these acts of selfless service and we once again extend our deepest thanks. 

We’re proud, too, of the 24/7 snow plowing operation our roads crews have kept up since Christmas eve. This has been critical not just for emergency response vehicle access but for utility workers to restore power as quickly as possible. The sheer number of downed trees and power lines, not to mention the repeat closures of every major highway in eastern Placer County and snow as low as Colfax and Foresthill, have made this difficult job even harder. Still, they’ve thrown everything they have at it, and won’t quit until the snow stops falling and the last road is cleared. 

As we carry on, we ask for your continued cooperation while cleanup progresses. Today our County Executive Officer acting as the Director of Emergency Services proclaimed a local emergency to help ensure we’ve got access to all available resources that can help. Power outages may persist for a few days. So we have extended hours at our Auburn Library to offer residents a place to charge medical or communication devices, and are opening the Foresthill Veterans Memorial Hall as a charging center, too. We’ve also provided a generator to the City of Colfax to open a charging center at the Colfax Veterans Memorial Hall. 

If you’re facing a few days without power, consider staying with friends or family, or escaping to a hotel room down the hill. If you’re really in trouble, or know someone who is, please call 211. Call operators are available 24/7 to help connect you with any available resources. 211 should almost always be your first call for resources and information. Call 911 only for life-threatening emergencies so our first responders can continue to prioritize these cases.

Hang in there, everybody. Our Emergency Operations Center is open and monitoring conditions and we will stay fully engaged until this is over. Thank you again for doing your part. 

Stay safe,

Robert Weygandt
Placer County District 2 Supervisor and Chair of the Board of Supervisors

Cindy Gustafson
Placer County District 5 Supervisor and Vice Chair of the Board of Supervisors