Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood warns residents an expected countywide communications outage could last a matter of hours or days.
According to a statement from Hagwood, power was lost to a critical tower and the back-up generators failed. The tower has been running on battery backup. A National Guard helicopter will airlift repairmen to the site, while bulldozers try to repair a washed out road to allow PG&E access to restore power.
If emergency repairs cannot be made to the generators then a new generator would need to be airlifted into place. Phone service will be disrupted including calls to 911. Hagwood urges people to remain safe and shelter at home if possible.
The sheriff said 911 calls will be routed to Sierra County where Plumas County staff will be standing by. A satellite phone will be used to communicate those 911 calls with Plumas County dispatch and staff will use radios to respond. Some 911 service may be available by routing through Lassen County.
“This is not a hoax,” Hagwood said. “Today at 1 p.m. Plumas County is anticipating a county wide telecommunication outage, this is presumed to affect both wireless and landline phones. They are working on a solution as we speak. Do not call 911 to test your line or call the administration lines to confirm the outage. We will provide updates as soon as we have them.”