Thousands without power in Lake Arrowhead area because of winter storm

Route 330
Drivers headed to Big Bear pull over near Route 330 to put snow chains on their tires.
(Patrick Fallon / For The Times)

Thousands of people in the Lake Arrowhead area were without power Sunday after heavy snow and strong winds resulted in widespread outages in the San Bernardino Mountains, officials said.

About 8,000 Southern California Edison customers were affected in mountain communities, including Skyland, Twin Peaks, Running Springs, Cedar Glen, Forest Falls and Crestline, where many residents have been without power since Thanksgiving Day, according to the utility. It was not clear when power would be restored.

Firewood was being distributed to local residents, according to Edison.

Joseph Mospan
Joseph Mospan digs his truck out so he can get to his snow blower at his home in Arrowbear, Calif. He got power back again late last night after first losing it Thursday night.
(Patrick Fallon / For The Times)

Meanwhile, State Route 18 from Lucerne to Big Bear was reopened Saturday after it was temporarily forced to shut down because of heavy snow. On Sunday, State Route 138 east of Interstate 15 was open to residents only, the California Department of Transportation said.

Last week’s storm dumped several feet of snow on local communities. About four feet of snow had already fallen on Big Bear Mountain Resort — east of Lake Arrowhead — as of Friday morning.

The wintry conditions forced Snow Valley Mountain Resort to delay its season opening until Sunday morning. The ski resort planned to open last week, according to its Twitter feed.

Slick mountain roads were jammed Sunday with skiers headed for resorts. The California Highway Patrol and Caltrans reminded motorists that they are required to put chains on their wheels, while those with four-wheel-drive vehicles and snow tires must carry chains with them.

“If you are traveling to the mountains you must have chains!” Caltrans tweeted. “Don’t be the person who closes the routes that just opened overnight because you don’t have chains!!”

Sebastien Moukir
Sebastien Moukir checks on his tire chains after passing though a CalTrans checkpoint en route to Big Bear.
(Patrick Fallon / For The Times)

Across the region, heavy snow that arrived in the Antelope Valley on Thanksgiving Day was quickly disappearing by Sunday. It had been years since the area was blanketed in snow and offered an unlikely tableau — with a frosting on Joshua trees and rooftop solar panels.

But with temperatures climbing into the mid-40s, snowmen were disintegrating and lawns and rooftops thawing.


“I nearly forgot what the stuff looked like,” said Carl Gerker of Palmdale. “I hadn’t used my snow shovel in 10 or 15 years, so I threw it away. I’ve never seen a place so dry. So this was a bit of a novelty.”

Gerker, 71, who grew up in Ohio, said his neighbors had some trouble with the four or five inches of snow they got. “They seemed gun-shy and then others would start out too fast and go sliding all over the place,” he said.

A few blocks away, young people were scraping snow off a front lawn to make snowballs.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Caleb Bobber, 20, who was warming up a new dirt bike. “We had a big ol’ snowball fight out here. We’ll take more, for sure. It’s a lot of fun.”

More rain is on the way. One to two inches of rain is forecast in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties between late Tuesday and Wednesday night, as a new storm makes its way across the region.

The Bay Area will also see increased rain, with the brunt of the storm hitting the Monterrey coastal range, with the Santa Cruz Mountains expected to get up to 10 inches of rainfall.