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Power Comes Back On Slowly in Parts of Placer County Impacting Seniors

COLFAX (CBS13) — "They have a warming center, but I'm disabled and can't get there," said Diane Swendner.

After nearly five days without power, Swendner decided to stick it out.

"The power came on last night for just a little while and then went right back off," she said. So she hunkered down again.

"In bed [is] the only warm place with lots of warm covers and my blanket from Minnesota that's from a wool mill," she said.

She couldn't get to her car to charge her phone because it was piled high with snow and her breathing machine wasn't working.

"The fire dept was nice enough to come over and charge a battery for me so I can use it," she said.

First responders evacuated two-thirds of those living at Canyon View Apartments and brought in the Salvation Army. Then probation crews were brought in to shovel snow.

"Being ex-military I wanted to help out," said Chester Overstreet, who is one of those who stayed.

"This has been a lifesaver," he said, as he showed us the hunting gear he wore to stay warm.

He was a bright light during the outage getting people where they needed to go with his 4x4.

"I took a couple people that needed rides over to the VA here in town and then a couple people that needed rides here and there and just helped them out. When I help people, it's in my heart," he said with tears in his eyes.

Overstreet has been a lifesaver for many, however, he wasn't the only one helping out. A best friend with a backhoe was also helping a buddy in Nevada County.

"He got inundated with snow and [the] generator can't get out, so I'm going to go dig him out," Shawn Foster said. "He called me like four days ago. He has a generator that's what I'm digging out right now so he can get fuel to it," he said.

As gas stations reopened and restocked so did the community of Colfax, however, fuel can still be hard to find.

While parts of Colfax are powered back up, not everyone has power again.

"It's pretty scary, you don't know if you're going to freeze to death!" said Diane.

The thousands still in the dark hope the new year means this outage will be history.

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