Colfax store remains open during severe winter storm

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One of the cashiers at Sierra de Mar-Val market always arrived for work despite his car being run over by a fallen oak tree.

COLFAX, Calif .– Although most of the roads are cleared of snow, the entire town of Colfax is without power and could be left in the dark for days.

On almost every occasion large trees fell. A tree crashed into the Baptist Church in Colfax, tearing power lines with it. The city plunged into darkness, but amid the rows of closing signs, the Sierra de Mar-Val market stood like a beacon of light.

Some people sleep in their cars at the market – one of the few stores that runs on generators. It’s a big job by a small team motivated to serve the community. The store remains open even after being snowed in.

Jeremy Rogers, Sierra de Mar-Val market manager, said they needed to refill the generator maybe three times. One of the cashier’s cars was also run over by a fallen oak tree.

“We all fought,” Rogers said. “We feel good. It’s our job, isn’t it? Serving the community. So if we can be here and stay open, that’s what we’re here for.”

Meanwhile, crews are working 24/7 to clear roads and trees. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday shared photos of search and rescue teams digging snow-capped residents at an apartment complex in Canyon Way, connecting older people with family members.

PG&E’s outage map estimates that electricity may not be restored to Colfax until Sunday, but there is no clear answer as to when it will actually return. As temperatures drop, Rogers said there were great concerns for the most vulnerable. He hopes more government resources can help communities in the Sierra and Foothill.

Rogers said he hasn’t seen much of a response from the government. Placer County declared a local emergency on Wednesday.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors said Auburn Library’s opening hours have been extended to allow people to charge their devices. They also opened a recharge center in the Foresthill and Colfax Veterans Memorial Halls.

Authorities are asking people to call 211 for help and to only call 911 for active emergencies.

SEE MORE : “It was a big storm that we weren’t expecting” | Pollock Pines residents left with limited resources

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