Heavy rainfall, snow, and blackouts throughout the valley amid rainstorms

CBS47 News

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KGPE) – It was a gloomy, rainy day in the Central Valley. 

From wet roads in Fresno to snowy mountain tops, officials across the region continue to track and respond to the impacts of this storm. 

From slick roads to the wind to snow in Shaver Lake, the first impacts of Monday’s winter storm are starting to descend on the Central Valley. 

The national weather service reports strong gusts of wind nearing 40 miles per hour in Merced to 21 miles per hour at the Fresno airport. 

Pacific Gas and Electric spokesperson Donny Boyle says they’ve been preparing for the storm for the past week. Boyle says crews have been on the ground making sure trees that could come down on power lines we’re taken care of. 

“The ground becomes more saturated, trees that have been impacted by the drought have the potential to come down,” Boyle said.

Officials stress the importance of prepping for not just the wind, but also the rain.  Fresno County officials offered sandbags free of charge for county residents, so those worried about flooding could get the resources they need. 

In the mountains, inches of snow started coming down. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have closed certain campgrounds ahead of the snowfall. Shaver Lake saw its fair share of snow too, officials there are reminding drivers that chains are required on the top four lanes of the 168.  

Throughout Monday, PG&E’s website showed a few thousand power outages in northern Fresno but most were resolved in a few hours. Boyle says crews will remain on standby for any more outages as the storm continues. 

“We looked at where we would see some of the greatest impacts, which is fortunately not Fresno but a little further north so we shifted crews around a little bit,” Boyle said.

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