Thousands of Humboldt County residents are still without electricity days after heavy rain and high winds knocked out power across the region. While power has been restored to the vast majority of Humboldt Bay area residents who lost power on Jan. 4, many others could be left in the dark for nearly two weeks.

Looking at PG&E’s Outage Map, estimated times for power restoration extend all the way to Jan. 20. Sure, that last storm was a doozy, but two weeks? Really?

“Well, there are a number of factors that continue to hinder restoration for some folks in counties across California, including Humboldt,” PG&E spokesperson Melissa Subbotin told the Outpost. “Localized flooding, soil instability, tree failure and other weather-related factors continue to hinder access for PG&E crews.  … We recognize the urgency around customers wanting restoration of power but in some areas, we’re having challenges with accessibility.”

When asked about specific areas and whether the estimated dates for power restoration are subject to change, Subbotin said she could not speculate but, once again, offered assurance that “crews continue to make progress in certain areas.”

On top of the existing outages, another atmospheric river is expected to bring more wet weather and strong winds to the region, according to the National Weather Service. There is currently a wind advisory in place for all of Humboldt County. Communities in Southern Humboldt can expect over two inches of precipitation in the next 24 hours.

“We’re forecasting that this next storm will bring additional challenges to accessibility,” Subbotin said. “As we look to restore power from the latest storm, we’re pre-positioning people throughout the service area to prepare for what’s to come.”

This big storm is going to last for a few days. Stay safe out there, Humboldt!