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Tuesday in Mammoth: U.S. 395 closes as mega-storm blasts Sierra town. Up the hill, winds of 150 mph

The main highway into Mammoth Lakes was closed Tuesday, virtually isolating the Sierra winter recreation hub amid a crushing blizzard and brutal winds that gusted to 150 mph on ridge tops. In short, the Mammoth mega-storm of 2017 was continuing as anticipated.

Whiteout conditions were seen around town, and authorities were cautioning residents to venture out only as necessary. Mammoth Lakes schools closed for the day, as did clinics and many businesses. Even the Mono County Board of Supervisors canceled its Tuesday meeting. Low visibility — at times less than 100 feet — made driving treacherous.

A winter storm warning was in effect through Wednesday. Up to three feet of snow was predicted for U.S. 395, the main artery through the area, which was closed from California 203 (near Mammoth) to Bridgeport (50 miles north).

For updates on road conditions, call (800) 427-7623.

Meanwhile, Mammoth Mountain is keeping an eye on snow depths and looking with anticipation to the long Martin Luther King holiday weekend, when skies —  and roads —  are expected to clear.

The resort announced that it now had the deepest base in North America, 9 to 14 feet and counting. Up to 20 feet of snow was expected from a storm that began last week. As of 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, six Mammoth Mountain lifts were operating, serving 87 trails. June Mountain, the sister resort 20 minutes north, closed for the day.

chris.erskine@latimes.com

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