It's kind of hard to know what exactly caused this but likely it was either snow or water getting in the wrong places and causing a tremendous short. My friends who live within a few miles of this substation said that it was amazing flashes of blue and white that went on for some time as the substation melted down. 24 hours later some people have power and others don't. My friends have a well and so need electric power to get well water pumped up from hundreds of feet below the surface. They said they were collected water from the rain to drink in buckets so they could flush their toilets, drink water and wash dishes. Luckily it is raining in buckets there now and melting the snow on their acreage. And also luckily they mostly heat with a wood stove so they aren't freezing to death like others might be who only have electric or gas heaters. They expect power to be back on within 24 hours.
People all over northern California and Oregon are now suffering from too much snow in their areas and roads not plowed so they cannot live their lives regularly. Hopefully, people aren't dying in remote areas from being snowed in or roads being washed out or not being plowed. As long as people are prepared with enough firewood and non-perishable food they likely will be okay, except for the fact that they might not be able to get to their jobs for a week or more because of roads not being plowed various places.
The Amtrak Train with passengers stranded for 40 hours is just the tip of the iceberg in the suffering of people now in Northern California and Oregon having just too much snow and too much rain various places. And the Atmospheric rivers are continuing ongoing along with much colder than normal weather than usual which brings all the snow to places not used to it at this level.
They also were saying how the Amtrak Train in Oregon could only move a few hundred feet north at a time towards Eugene because the power is out to all the switches that switch tracks, so they have to manually switch the tracks now heading north so this takes a great deal of time too. They plan to unload the passengers on the Amtrak from Eugene where the roads are likely plowed of the snow enough to do that.
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