Eric Garcetti

Why record snow followed by warm temperatures is a dangerous combination for Owens Valley

Why record snow followed by warm temperatures is a dangerous combination for Owens Valley

Thousands of feet above the Owens Valley, melting snow dribbles from granite cracks, succumbing to the sun’s warmth and gravity’s pull.

Glistening rivulets streak the recently drought-parched alluvial fans that spill toward U.S. 395, and along Owens River a mosaic of puddles reflects the fang-like peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west and the Inyo and White ranges to the east.

In sleepy towns such as Lone Pine, Big Pine and Independence, an all-but-forgotten sound adds to the serenity, as water again gurgles in every ditch and drain pipe.

But while a sudden abundance of snowmelt has rendered this landscape particularly stunning this spring, it has also...

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