Many residents remained trapped in their homes in the San Bernardino Mountains on Wednesday as crews worked to clear roads made nearly impassable by snow that has blanketed the area in recent days, prompting at least one report about a collapsed roof.
California Department of Transportation crews had planned to escort residents onto the mountain freeways that have been closed since Friday, but those plans were put on hold Wednesday morning because drivers continued to get stuck in the snow despite chains on their tires.
According to county officials, highway workers are attempting to clear the freeways for residents in the communities of Lake Arrowhead, Crestline and Running Springs.
“We understand the nature of this emergency and how it is affecting our residents,” San Bernardino County Supervisor Dawn Rowe said during a news conference Wednesday. “We know we have stranded residents. Getting to these residents so they have the safe environment we hope to provide is our top priority.”
Lake Arrowhead has received 2.5 feet of snow in the past 48 hours, according to the National Weather Service, and the surrounding area has seen over 6 feet of snow in the last week.
Goodwin’s Market in Crestline was closed on Wednesday after extra overnight snowfall caused part of its roof to collapse.
“We know many of you are counting on us and we will do everything we can to open as soon as possible,” the market said in a Facebook post.
Rowe acknowledged that risk to structures was also an issue for the county heading into the sixth day of snowfall.
Snow mountains are reaching the rooftops of mountain communities and have made it almost impossible for people to drive or walk on the roads.
“We hear you. We know you’re concerned, and we know that’s changing with the extra snow that fell last night,” Rowe said.
Snowplough drivers are expected to clear the streets for the next week, Rowe said.
Some residents posted videos of their rides on the mountain roads with Caltrans escorts on social media before being paused.
Many more are trapped in their homes.
Brooke Cutler and her family spent most of Tuesday digging out of the snow at their Lake Arrowhead home.
A plow had cleared the cobbled and unpaved streets in their neighborhood overnight. Large mountains of snow piled up in front of their home, but by the time Cutler and her family dug their way out, the streets were covered in snow again.
The plows “had just arrived on the neighborhood streets and did a good job clearing them,” Cutler said. “We had to dig out our cars, and when we shoveled them out, it was dark and it started snowing again.”
Cutler figured if a few inches fell overnight, she could dig up with her family in the morning.
“It ended up being 1 to 2 feet. So we’re stuck again,” Cutler said. “We envision the plows starting all over again on the cycle to clear the other roads.”
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-03-01/california-mountains-snow-residents-stranded-winter-storms Many stranded in San Bernardino Mountains as snow blocks roads