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“Snowbound” was not a term Stephen Kulieke thought he would hear at the end of California’s driest year in a century, but that’s precisely the position the Sierra City resident found himself in this week.

“It’s snowmaggedon,” said Kulieke, 71, whose mountain cabin was piled under at least 4 feet of powder Monday afternoon amid record-breaking snowfall in the Sierra Nevada. “It’s just beyond belief how much snow there is.”

The small community where he and his husband, Jeff, spend much of their time is about 50 miles northwest of Lake Tahoe at a 4,100-foot elevation. The area has been impassable for days thanks to a series of winter storms, and electricity has been intermittent since Sunday, he said.

Kulieke, a columnist for the weekly Mountain Messenger newspaper, was using a generator to power his cellphone and refrigerator, and a fireplace to keep the house warm. But after months of wildfires and drought, he said the steady pounding of snow is a welcome change.

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