Friday, March 24, 2023

Volunteers in mountain towns dig out Californians trapped in snow – Usky News

Arrowhead Lake: After a Blizzard Southern California Pahar, 79 years old Alan Zagorsky Found myself locked inside my house with snow blocking the door and stairs leading out.
He and his wife had enough food for 10 days until volunteers arrived on Wednesday to help clear the nearly 10 feet (3 meters) of snow that had accumulated outside their home in Lake Arrowhead. They were running low on blood pressure medication, but the team had arrived a day earlier to resupply them in the high mountain community, where Zagorsky Lived for more than two decades.
“We’ve been through many snow storms, but nothing of this amount, that’s for sure,” he said while a crew shoveled his driveway in the mountains east of Los Angeles. “Right now, they’re trying to find a place where they can store this stuff.”
In a once-in-a-generation weather event, heavy snow fell in late February in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountain ranges, where thousands of people live in wild enclaves. The areas are popular destinations for hikers and skiers accessed by winding, steep highways that are frequently closed due to snowy conditions.
Snow piled above the first-floor windows of many homes and residents could only walk out to buy groceries from stores with nearly empty shelves or pick up boxes of donated food at a distribution center.
Roofs fell, cars were buried and roads were blocked. Power was lost in several communities and officials reported possible gas leaks and fires related to the storm. Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency effective March 1 in 13 of California’s 58 counties, including San Bernardino County.
On Wednesday, dozens of volunteers with the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Team Rubicon fanned out to mountain communities to clean up buried properties. A team of 10 people used shovels and snow blowers to clear paths and driveways belonging to Zagorski and his neighbors, who were confined to their homes for more than a week.
In Lake Arrowhead, home to 9,700 people and at an elevation of 5,175 feet (1,575 meters), many roads were plowed Tuesday for the first time in 10 days, and some residents complained about a slow response. San Bernardino County officials estimated that more than 90% of county roads were plowed as of Tuesday night.
About 8 miles (13 kilometers) west, along a winding two-lane road, volunteers were excavating homes in Crestline, a working-class mountain community of 9,300 residents.
Don Black watches a shoveling crew clearing his neighbor’s property. He was astonished to see 12-foot (3.6-metre) large icebergs left behind by the plow along the roads.
“This is the worst storm I’ve seen in 34 winters,” Black said, standing near a mound of snow that completely covered his pickup truck.
A team of state firefighters shoveled through the roof of the city library. Residents line freshly plowed streets to pick up boxes of food at a distribution center.
Nearby, Big Bear City received more than 6.6 feet (2 meters) of snow in a seven-day period, the most since those records have been tracked, said Alex Tardy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego. Is.
As the state continued to dig out from past storms, another was on the way. Forecasters said an atmospheric river targeting northern and central California was expected to make landfall early Thursday morning. San Bernardino mountain communities were expected to receive another major snowfall.
The warm storm was raising concerns about the rapid snowpack depletion of the state’s substantial snowpack. Officials said creeks, streams and rivers could swell rapidly, increasing the risk of flooding.


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