MADERA COUNTY — We’ve got another weekend of winter storms headed our way in Madera County. Rain, snow, and cold temperatures are all in the forecast- this next storm system will impact both valley and mountain regions. The ongoing conditions have generated hazardous road conditions, power outages, and downed trees due to excessive snowfall throughout the county.
We urge our community members and visitors to recreate within their abilities and take responsibility for their safety. As a reminder, we encourage people to limit travel to ESSENTIAL only. As people enter conditions unnecessarily, it detracts from our ability to mitigate the impacts of the storm.
The extreme weather has strained not only our local resources but those throughout the entire state. Our number one priority is the safety of the public. Some people, especially those from out of the area, may not realize that in storms such as these, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office services a variety of functions outside “typical” calls for service.
We are responsible for ALL search and rescue operations in the county, including in the National Forest areas. This includes rescuing people who make poor judgment decisions and recreate outside of their abilities. Often, these are well-meaning folks who drive their vehicle too far and get stuck in the snow. When that happens, it ties up resources to rescue them.
When severe storms hit, we are often tasked with helping our EMS partners in accessing or retrieving persons having medical emergencies. When deputies and resources are tied up trying to get to someone who drove their vehicle in conditions they shouldn’t have, those resources aren’t available to assist the mothers, fathers, children, and grandparents having medical emergencies that need transport to a hospital, by deciding to drive your vehicle beyond your abilities. In conditions unsuitable for travel, you’re, in some way, putting our most vulnerable citizens at risk.
PSA ???? We will continue working around the clock to make sure our community is taken care of as we navigate this next round of weather. Please, CALL US if you need something. We can’t help you if we don’t know you need it. Putting it on social media, calling a friend, or just crossing your fingers isn’t the same as calling us directly. Our 24/7 number is (559)675-7770. We will answer, and we will make arrangements for a deputy to reach out to you.
MADERA COUNTY WINTER STORM RESOURCES
- Madera County Public Works (559) 675-7811 or visit https://www.maderacounty.com/government/public-works/snow-removal
- Caltrans 800-427-7623 or visit https://quickmap.dot.ca.gov
- Oakhurst Community Center (39800 Fresno Flats Rd, Oakhurst, CA 93644). NOW OPEN 24/7. Contact: American Red Cross 800-733-2767
- Madera County Office of Emergency Services will arrange shelter for anyone who needs it. Contact: (559) 675-7770
- PG&E https://pgealerts.alerts.pge.com/outagecenter/ or call 877-660-6789
- U.S. National Weather Service (NWS)