Sheriff’s Deputies Rescue Stranded Motorists During Winter Storm

Snow and downed lines on Mattole Road.

Snow and downed lines on Mattole Road. [Photo from HCSO]

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Jan. 26, 2021, at about 11 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a request for assistance from CAL FIRE with a search and rescue of three motorists stranded along Mattole Road near Bull Creek due to severe weather conditions and several roadblocks.

The Sheriff’s Office’s Special Services Division was dispatched to assist. Utilizing specialized snow equipment, deputies navigated several miles of snow in treacherous conditions, clearing dozens of downed trees and powerlines as they worked their way towards the stranded motorists. At approximately 3 a.m., January 27, deputies reached the motorists, who were found to be uninjured and in good health. The motorists were transported to safety.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the agencies who assisted and collaborated in this search and rescue, including CAL FIRE, the United States Coast Guard, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Humboldt County Roads Division.

Mattole Road at Bull Creek is currently closed due to fallen trees and power lines across the roadway. For current road conditions, visit:

According to the National Weather Service, additional snow and rain are expected today with winds of up to 45 miles per hour this evening. Residents are asked to avoid unnecessary travel while these winter weather conditions persist. If you must travel, be sure to bring an emergency kit containing food, water, extra warm clothes, blankets and a flashlight with extra batteries. Additionally, if you have a cell phone, make sure it is charged and consider bringing a portable battery pack with you. In case of emergency, call 9-1-1.

Search and rescue teams working in snow during a winter stormSearch and rescue teams work to clear the road

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10 comments

  • My question is why were they on this road during a terrible storm? Do they live in the area and trying to get home? So glad they got the help they needed Stay at home folks and off the roads during these storms Dont put emergency personels lives at danger to rescue you, just because you wanted to be stupid

    • Laurie, Well said!

    • Well, i might brave it… but i would never call emergency services because of a little snow in the redwoods! What is it with people nowadays? It’s not the upper midwest plains or Alaska… being on the road in the redwoods in a snowstorm means in a few hours it’s going to thaw and start to melt. Get in your sleeping bag and have a nice long sleep. When you wake up, it will be because plows are there anyway to open the road the next morning.
      Of course, if people don’t even carry a sleeping bag or warm blankets with them while driving in the wintertime, that’s a whole ‘nother story… which again leads to the question, What is it with people nowadays?

  • Small town gossip

    Maybe they thought they should get last minute supplies, gas for the generator and food or ice maybe they forget medications or dog food and they failed to make it home before the storm and then at some point thought its only a little farther till our driveway and well its a lot farther then it seems and here they are stuck and on the local news because we have nothing else to talk about. Glad they are safe.
    People panic shop toilet paper during a pandemic instead of vitamins so who knows why or what they were doing but humans tend to be odd and common sense isnt very common.

    • Exactly. Someone always has a reason. Plus, there are a lot of people out there driving around in the 1st place. More than most people imagine.

    • Maybe it was farther then it seemed,maybe the driveway is rite around tne corner.maybe its small town gossip [edit].i did fine&have my survival box with me etc.gen propane&wood stove wood shed 4×4&food&maybe they needed special supplies from somewhere&couldnt make it cause they were driving a mercury car.wuts up with artic commando in front of pic?is he search&rescue or search&seizure?odd he’s camo’d out.maybe he’s the one who walked up&stumbled on us bout 3am.bout a half mile down private rd.thanks humb county road crew.artic commando no knock no talk creeper

  • So, aside from being happy they are safe, does “three motorists” mean three separate vehicles?

  • It’s a well-traveled road. No more uncommon to drive it than the road from Ferndale to Petrolia.

  • Chainsaw, 12 pack, half pint and half a tank of gas. Sounds fun 😁

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