REDDING, Calif. — Caltrans, along with Shasta County Public Works, continued to work nonstop on Wednesday after last week's snowstorm caused thousands of trees and branches to fall.
Caltrans Spokeswoman Lupita Franco said crews have been working 10 to 12 hours a day and have collected more than a thousand trees that have either fallen or compromised the safety of the public.
"Caltrans crews follow criteria for trees that may pose as a safety hazard for the public. And the obvious one is fallen trees but then there are certain things that you look for especially after the storm we had and the winter conditions. And we have specialized crews that can tell when a tree needs to be clear and needs to be taken care of," Franco said.
If another storm hits the Northstate area, Franco said crews will continue to be out in the field.
"Now if we have another storm, then we are going to be ongoing, working day and night to even weekends just to make sure that people on the highways can feel safe and the roads are clear," Franco said.
According to Caltrans, they are overseeing numerous areas including Interstate 5, south of Redding and monitoring the whole district overall.
The Lakehead Rest Area north of Redding has dozens of fallen trees and will continue to be closed until it is cleared, according to Caltrans.
Crews anticipate the tree debris clean-up will take at least two more weeks.
Shasta County Public Works Deputy Director Troy Bartolomei said their goal for the tree debris clean-up in the county is to finish as soon as this week.
"It's our goal by the end of the week basically to have all the debris and trees as such, removed back into what we call the fog line, where it's the edge of the pavement."
Most of the major roads are open, therefore crews are now working on smaller roads according to Bartolomei.
"Once that is done, we'll probably be starting, coming back next week and cleaning up the debris that we have pushed to the side and left behind. We're not picking up and hauling off right now, we are just getting the roads open," Bartolomei said.
Areas that had the worst damage as far as fallen trees was in the Happy Valley area as well as in Anderson and near Canyon Road in Redding.
Overall, public works said it will take around a month or two to go through and pick up the tree debris left on the side of the roads and the clean-up due to the long process of stockpiling the debris, chipping the wood and hauling it away.