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From the Archives: 1940 closure of the Ridge Route

Dec. 16, 1940: Hundreds of motor vehicles were halted at Gorman by snowstorm on Ridge Route.
Dec. 16, 1940: Hundreds of motor vehicles are halted in Gorman by a snowstorm.

The first major storm during the 1940-41 winter closed the Ridge Route between Los Angeles County and Kern County. Hundreds of vehicles were halted in Gorman.

The Los Angeles Times reported in its Dec. 17, 1940, edition that “the season's first major rainstorm yesterday and last night drenched the Southland's coastal plain and mantled the mountains in their first substantial white coat of the winter. …”

“Occupants of an estimated 500 automobiles and trucks stalled on the Ridge Route thumped themselves to keep warm while highway crews spread dirt on ice-coated pavement to permit traffic to move.”

Later in the evening, cars and light trucks equipped with chains were allowed to proceed.

The Ridge Route is now Interstate 5.

This post was originally published on Dec. 20, 2012.

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here


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