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Nearly 20 days trapped, Camptonville neighbors ask Yuba County officials to clear snow-covered roads

Camptonville neighbors ask Yuba County officials to clear snow-covered roads
Camptonville neighbors ask Yuba County officials to clear snow-covered roads 02:59

CAMPTONVILLE - Neighbors living deep in Yuba County say they have been trapped by several feet of snow for 19 days. 

With no way in and no way out, they reached out to CBS13 to call out for help from county officials to plow the road it is supposed to maintain. 

"At this point, I feel like we are all kind of just waiting on help," said neighbor Michael DeMaranville. 

His Camptonville mountain home sits high above New Bullards Bar Reservoir on Baker Road. He has been texting and calling neighbors he has been unable to reach by foot and estimates around 20 to 40 more people are trapped, too. 

"It definitely feels like a jail sentence, even though I am free. I can go outside but I can't go far," said DeMaranville. 

CBS13 tried unsuccessfully to get to DeMaranville and his neighbors in person Monday night. Ranch hand Jason Evanoff maintains the Pendola Ranch, the last accessible property before the snow takes over the winding, one-way roads. 

He loaded our crew into his ATV to try and conquer the terrain. 

"If you go up the hill just a little bit, you gain about 1,000 feet [of elevation] or better," said Evanoff. "There's a lot of people with no perceivable snow plow coming."  

Our crew got stuck and turned back, still miles from DeMaranville and the rest. 

"I ran out of food about a week ago," he said. "I had some family members snowmobile in some food. But that was about five miles away so I had to walk, get all the food and then walk it back through 3-4 feet of snow."  

The road he lives on is maintained by Yuba County. But with 100 miles of road to clear, John Stone, with the Yuba County Office of Emergency Services, told CBS13 there's a delay. 

"We will try to address it as quickly as possible," said Stone. 

It comes as DeMaranville says livestock have already died of starvation. He found his neighbor Dana Hawley's five goats dead when they ran out of food. 

"How much I pay in taxes and to watch my animals starve is just unbelievable," Hawley told CBS13 by phone from his Tahoe area home.

He can't access his ranch or his animals. 

"It's been 18 days and instead of clearing the road, they made it treacherous, so I can't bring food into my livestock," said Hawley. "It's lack of understanding, I guess. I'm dumbfounded."

He and DeMaranville claim the trouble stems from recent work the county completed on the roads, clearing fallen trees. The neighbors allege the large equipment created snowy berms and deteriorated the roads in a way that only trapped them further. 

"It would have been better if they had done nothing. But the fact that they brought in the machine to build these berms, I don't know what their intention was. If it was to help, it's not helping," said DeMaranville. 

CBS13 has sent questions about the origin of the problem and the solution to Yuba County officials with the public works and road maintenance departments. We did not receive a response Monday; a spokesperson said answers would be provided Tuesday. 

Yuba County OES says anyone trapped in a matter of life or death needs to immediately call 911. Road issues should be reported using this online portal to the public works department right away. 

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