Sierra Wave Media

Eastern Sierra News for [current_date format=’F d, Y’]

 

 

Mono Ready 2

SITUATION REPORT
Incident: Winter Weather Update

March 4, 2023
8:30 p.m.

KEY ISSUES/CONCERNS
Cold, Windy, Snowstorm Expected to Continue into Monday: A major winter storm is howling
throughout much of Mono County tonight, bringing heavy snow, whiteout conditions, and
extremely cold temperatures. This is a dangerous storm; the public should not travel unless
absolutely necessary.

Power Restoration: Power was restored earlier today to Mono City, southern Bridgeport, the
Conway Ranch area, and all properties along the U.S. 395 corridor from just north of Lee Vining (Lee Vining never lost power), following an intensive effort by Caltrans, Southern California Edison (SCE), Mono County, and others to get the Lundy Canyon power plant up and running.

TEMPORARY SHELTERS/REDUCED INN RATES FOR EVACUEES
Warming Center: A Warming Center/Shelter has been set up in Bridgeport at Memorial Hall at
73 N School Street and is serving about ten people a night, as well as three meals a day. Call 760-924-4633 for more information.
Reduced Rates for Evacuees at The Carson Valley Inn: The Carson Valley Inn will be honoring a
rate of $89 plus tax in the main hotel until March 31st, for anyone displaced or without power.This is subject to availability. No pets. Call 1-800-321-6983 for reservations.

EMERGENCY ALERTS
The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning for the current storm from 2 p.m. Saturday, March 4th to 4 a.m. Monday, March 6th

The Town of Mammoth Lakes has declared a Local State of Emergency.
California Governor Gavin Newson has declared a state ‘State of Emergency’ for Mono County
and several other counties impacted by the storm. The county is pursuing a federal declaration
of emergency as well.

WEATHER CONDITIONS
The current storm is forecast to intensify into the overnight hours tonight then moderate for a
few hours, and then intensify again Sunday morning before slowly weakening throughout the
day and exiting the region Monday. There will be periods of moderate to heavy snow throughout the remainder of the storm, with total snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches below 7,000 feet elevation and up to 2 feet above 7,000 feet. Winds could gust as high as 50 mph, with up to 100 mph along the Sierra crest. This storm will be very cold, with temperatures in the teens and single digits overnight and the teens and 20s during the day.

TRAFFIC/ROAD CONDITIONS
U.S. 395 is closed from the junction with S.R. 203 due to blowing snow and whiteout conditions. The road in this section will likely remain closed through the night unless conditions unexpectedly improve. S.R. 167 from U.S. 395 to the Nevada state line is NOT open to the public and remains

CLOSED on the Caltrans site and on the QuickMap app, although some drivers had to be escorted out of the closure today.

There is no estimated time for opening the section of U.S. 395 north of Lee Vining where a large
avalanche took out transmission facilities and crossed the road, burying sections under 30-40
feet of snow and debris. Caltrans and SCE crews are on standby and stationed in Lee Vining so
they can access the avalanche area as soon as it is safe to do so. The section of 395 under the
avalanches will remain closed until it is safe to evaluate the slides, stabilize the slopes and remove the metal retaining fence and other debris. Caltrans and SCE are seeking expert help from avalanche experts to do this, including Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Ski Patrol, who will be on call as soon as conditions improve to conduct aerial reconnaissance and avalanche control. The best estimate is the road will be closed in that area for at least next week and perhaps longer.

Benton Crossing Road is fully closed.

UTILITIES
SCE was able to energize the Lundy Power Plant and get power to its customers from north of
Lee Vining to Bridgeport today, but the agency said there could still be some temporary outages
due to the extreme weather conditions over the next few days.

RESOURCES
Mono County Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/countyofmono
National Weather Service – Reno: https://www.weather.gov/reno
CHP Activity – Mono/Inyo Counties:  https://cad.chp.ca.gov/Traffic.aspx
Easter Sierra Avalanche Center: https://www.esavalanche.org/

Mono County Webcams: https://www.monocounty.org/plan-your-trip/weather-and-road-
conditions/webcams-in-mono-county/

Caltrans – Road Information: https://roads.dot.ca.gov/roadscell.php