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A group of sailors from Lemoore NAS work to remove a fallen tree Sunday afternoon on Road 222 (photo by Leonard Andrenacci)

‘All Clear’ for Now, PG&E Hoping to Begin Restoring Power Later Today

MOUNTAIN AREA — Daybreak delivered some guardedly optimistic news for the thousands of residents of eastern Madera County without power since mid-afternoon Sunday — high winds overnight had calmed and PG&E was inspecting power lines and preparing to turn power back on later in the day.

Just after 7 a.m. this morning, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office sent out the following message:

“De-energization remains in effect. We have received the all clear weather status as of 7am. PG&E is currently patrolling the lines to prepare for re-energization. De-energization will remain in effect until inspections by PG&E are completed, which likely will take a significant portion of the day. We ask that residents remain patient, and respect the safety of PG&E workers in the area.”

MCSO also alerted residents of many downed trees in the Beasore corridor around Bass Lake.

“Falling trees remain a potential hazard. Use caution while traveling along roadways, or when you’re near dead or dying trees and power lines. Be aware of your surroundings when parking vehicles, whether at home or in public. If you see a downed tree or power line blocking the roadway, please turn around and use an alternate route. Do not try to go around fallen trees. Contact the non-emergency line (559) 675-7770 or 311 to report.”

And then at 9:15 a.m., MCSO provided this update: “Current predictions from PG&E indicate that Madera County is NOT in the scope of the next round of PSPS outages.” (Late Sunday, some mountain area PG&E customers received text warnings to prepare for another PSPS as soon as Tuesday.)

MCSO’s Community Resource Center at 48267 Liberty Dr in Oakhurst reopened this morning at 8 a.m. and the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line is staffed 24/7 at (559) 675-7770.

According to PG&E’s website, as many as 16,675 PG&E customers around eastern Madera County have been impacted by the outage. About 4,100 PG&E customers in Fresno County foothill communities also continue to have no power.

In North Fork on Sunday afternoon and evening, winds estimated at 50 to 70 mph toppled trees, causing one large oak on Rainbow Road to narrowly miss a propane tank.

Road 222 also was blocked off and on throughout the day by a number of large, fallen trees.

With area schools closed Monday, authorities this morning are reporting that traffic signals in Oakhurst have run out of emergency battery and are no longer flashing red. Motorist need to treat signaled intersections without power as four-way stops, CHP advised.

The signal on Highway 41 and Yosemite Lakes Parkway is still flashing red but authorities believe the light at that intersection may go dark soon too.

So far, no collisions have been reported to CHP.

PSPS info can be found at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.

*This story was updated at 11 a.m. and will continue to be updated throughout the day as the most accurate information becomes available.

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