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THOUSANDS IN SIERRA FOOTHILLS WITHOUT POWER: IONE  (AP) — Thousands of people in a handful of small communities in the Sierra Nevada foothills southeast of Sacramento are without electricity after a power outage hit the area.

A spokeswoman for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. says about 35,000 people in the communities of Ione, Jackson, Sutter Creek and San Andreas have been without power since a little after noon Monday.

Spokeswoman Brandi Ehlers says the cause of the outage is still being investigated, but it's believed to have originated in the utility's transmission lines.

PG&E crews on the ground and a helicopter crew are working on trying to find the source of the problem.

The communities affected by the outage are in Amador and Calaveras counties, southeast of Sacramento.

CALTRANS CLOSES EBBETTS PASS: ARNOLD – Caltrans has closed Highway 4 over Ebbetts Pass. The upcoming weather predictions make it necessary to close the pass for the safety of motorists and Caltrans crews.

For the latest road condition information, tune your radio to the Caltrans Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) at 530 AM or 1610 AM or call our Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623) or log onto