State and county officials this past weekend voted to reopen several highways in Southern California mountain communities that are still struggling with the tremendous snowfall.
They say emergency calls have gone down dramatically and power companies have finished their repairs. However, some residents believe it’s still too early for visitors, even though the main roads are clear.
Larry and Sue Price are getting help from firefighters who are loading up the couple’s truck with firewood. They said their street is still tough to access because it only has one lane.
“I’m not comfortable driving on the roads with it being that narrow,” Sue Price said.
This past weekend, after about two weeks of being closed, Caltrans opened up several main highways to visitors in mountain communities that were hit hard by the recent winter storms, including state routes 18 and 138 in Crestline.
Brandon Mills, a resident of Crestline, said he is still helping neighbors dig out their driveways. “It’s still horrible up here no matter what you see right now with the snow,” he said.
But fire officials say the county has done a good job clearing the main roadways.
“Our roads are starting to get to the point where travel is much safer than it was. Our main roads are clear; you don’t even need chains to come up to the mountain currently, Colton Fire Department spokesman Justin Correll said.
Correll added visitors need to stay on the main roads and avoid going into neighborhoods where some roads are only one lane. Otherwise, the mountains are open for business.
“Big Bear Mountain, Snow Summit, Snow Valley are open. Wrightwood Ski Resort is open. If you want to come up and enjoy these resorts, please come up. But, please don’t come back into the communities the residents are still trying to remove the snow,” Correll said.
Kathy Runkle said the door is thankfully open again at The Goods, where she is manager. She also understands why some are hesitant for visitors to come up right now.
“I do understand how the community feels because we don’t have parking. Where are they going to park?” Runkle said.
Some residents are hoping it helps, as long as visitors are respectful of their struggles to clean up all the snow.
“Some of the roads are still not quite two lanes, so you have to be patient … but just common courtesy,” said Crestline resident Frankie Schmidt.
Fire officials say if people do plan on visiting, they should not pull over on highways for snow play if there are “no parking” signs, otherwise, they could be cited or towed.
Source: NBC Los Angeles
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