Press release from Inyo County

An atmospheric river, a narrow corridor of concentrated moisture, will take aim at Inyo County and the State of California this weekend with heavy precipitation, high snow levels and soils that are already saturated from recent storms.

Moderate precipitation starts 01/07/17, but the brunt of the storm will occur 01/08/17, tapering off 01/09/17. Additional storms are possible 01/10/17 into the week ahead. The majority of the precipitation will fall as rain in the mountainous areas as snow levels rise above 10,000 feet.

This is forecast to be some of the more significant flooding seen in the past decade. Areas may flood that haven’t seen impacts for several years. Due to the high level of snow fall, we anticipate an increased danger of avalanches in avalanche prone areas.

Inyo County Emergency Services and the Sheriff’s Department are recommending residents of Avalanche Prone areas temporarily evacuate or be prepared to shelter in place for several days. This includes residents in the North and South fork of the Bishop Creek drainage and residents in the Big Pine Creek/Glacier drainage above Cone Road. We would also like to advise residents below the Lone Pine Creek burn area to be prepared to leave on short notice.

Per the Inyo County Road Department, for the safety of Inyo County work crews and the public, South Lake Road will be closed at Highway 168 with the commencement of storms. Currently that is expected to be the afternoon of Saturday, January 7, 2017.
With severe storms forecast over the next week, there is a strong possibility that the potential for avalanche events in the vicinity of Aspendell will cause snow removal activities to be suspended. Snow removal activities would not recommence until such time as conditions allow a return to safe operations.
Making appropriate arrangements and taking appropriate precautions is recommended.
Use the break in the weather today to prepare. Additional storms are possible Tuesday into the following weekend. Keep in mind that flooding will take several days to recede in some areas after the rain stops.

The Office of Emergency Services and the Sheriff’s Department will update residents and visitors as necessary.