Thousands of Sierra Nevada foothills residents left without power due to storm

Hail and snow rain down on Oakhurst during cold winter storm

The coldest storm of the winter season has brought hail in the afternoon and snow in the evening for Oakhurst.
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The coldest storm of the winter season has brought hail in the afternoon and snow in the evening for Oakhurst.

The cold storm passing through the Sierra Nevada foothills communities this week has coated many homes with a layer of snow, but has also left many of them without power.

PG&E is reporting that as of Tuesday morning, its Sierra Division has 76 different outages affecting 14,918 customers with the largest outages near Somerset, Placerville, Pollock Pines and Camino.

Things are slightly more severe in the Yosemite Division with 18,071 customers without power in 99 different outages. This division includes the communities of eastern Madera County.

Eastern Madera County made up 1,000 of the homes without power in the Yosemite Division. That includes outages in Oakhurst,Yosemite Forks, Bass Lake and North Fork.

The National Weather Service had yet to calculate the snowfall totals in Oakhurst as of Tuesday morning, but were able to report about 9 inches of snow near Bass Lake and North Fork.

Up towards Yosemite the snow totals reached upwards of 3 feet as low as Fish Camp.

The snowfall led to the enforcement of snow chains along all of the major highways in eastern Madera and Mariposa counties.

According to Caltrans, snow chains are required along Highway 41 from three miles south of Coarsegold to the Yosemite National Park entrance.

Highway 49 required chains from the Madera/Mariposa County line to two miles south of Mariposa, and Highway 140 required them from Whitlock Road to Midpines.

All roads inside Yosemite National Park are closed due to the heavy snow and fallen trees and park discouraged people in the park to stay indoors to avoid falling trees.

The National Weather Service reported that this would be the coldest storm of the winter season and snow could continue throughout most of the foothills until about 7 p.m.

Daytime snow accumulation in Oakhurst is expected to be between 1 to 3 inches.