Over 2,000 homes checked in west shore safety assessment

Published on January 13, 2017

A group of approximately 30 deputies, firefighters, paramedics and trained volunteers from various agencies completed over 2,000 safety and welfare checks today in Lake Tahoe’s west shore.

The goal was to assess the welfare of those who have been without power and may have challenges with access to services. The operation was a unified command between North Tahoe Fire Protection District and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

Public safety personnel went door to door to assess the health and welfare of residents between Timberland and Tahoma, especially the elderly, mobility-impaired and other at-risk populations, and to assess damage in the area. Much of the area has been without power since January 8, and has received 12 feet of snow.

There were over 50 reports of assistance from the west shore safety assessment operational group. Assistance included assessing infrastructure damage and downed power lines, personal property damage and assisting citizens with egress. The one-day operation ended tonight at 7 p.m.

“I want to commend the volunteers and the various agencies that worked together so well, along with the various public utilities,” said Lt. Alfredo Guitron with Placer County Sheriff’s Office. “The operation went through smoothly, we ensured the public’s safety, while our public utilities work to restore power as quickly as possible.”

Area residents are still being asked to check in with neighbors, especially those who are likely to be in need, to ensure they have adequate food, water and shelter.

“This was a great multi-agency assessment; we are really pleased with how everyone worked together,” said North Tahoe Fire Protection District Fire Chief Michael Schwartz. “It was good to exercise our mutual aid relationships and interoperable communications. Several community members were assisted by various agencies. This was a successful operation.”

A warming and cell phone charging center will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through the weekend at the Tahoe City Public Utility District office until power is restored. The center is located at 221 Fairway Drive in Tahoe City.

Agencies that assisted in the safety assessment include: Placer County Office of Emergency Services, Placer County Sheriff’s Office, North Tahoe Fire Protection District, Meeks Bay Fire Protection District, CAL FIRE, Tahoe City Public Utilities District, Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue and North Tahoe Fire Protection District Community Emergency Response.

If there is an emergency, officials urge calling 911.