Be Prepared for Periods of Heavy Snow and Potential Flooding in Mammoth Lakes
The Town of Mammoth Lakes is notifying all residents and visitors to be prepared for a significant Atmospheric River event bringing high elevation snow, heavy rain and strong winds to Mammoth Lakes beginning Thursday evening, March 9, through Sunday morning, March 12, 2023. Travelers are advised to visit the Caltrans QuickMap site for updated road conditions and chain restrictions.
Winter Storm Watch
National Weather Service Reno has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Mono County and the Town of Mammoth Lakes through Sunday, March 12, 2023. The forecast is for 2 to 5 feet of snow above 8,500 feet, and 1 to 2 feet between 7,500 and 8,500 feet including Mammoth Lakes and June Lake. On Thursday, snow levels will start at all valley floors, but are forecast to rapidly rise early Friday morning to around the 7,500-8,000 plus foot level during the heaviest precipitation. Winds could gust as high as 120 mph along the Sierra Crest.
A Flood Watch is also in effect for the same time period in Mammoth Lakes. Heavy rain with higher snow levels is expected to bring the risk of flooding between Thursday night and Friday. Flooding concerns are high with giant snowbanks throughout Town blocking normal drainage channels that may cause water to flow into unusual areas. Be prepared by identifying and removing snow and ice from your closest storm drain to facilitate runoff.
Sandbags will be available from the Town Yard (299 Commerce Drive) between 8am – 8pm on Thursday (3/9) and Friday (3/10). Follow the signs to the “Cinder Shop” from Commerce Blvd. The Town asks that you only take what you need (max. 20) and be respectful of others. Please do not place the sandbags in the roadway, place the sandbags at least 3 feet from the edge of the road so they do not get damaged by snow removal operators. Review the map for directions.
Important Life Safety Message
The Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Lakes Fire Department would like to remind residents of several life safety issues. These include the accumulation of large amounts of snow/ice on roofs, the blockage of vents for heating and hot water appliances, and the maintenance needed to safely use propane. Na
Heavy Snow Load on Roofs
The Town of Mammoth Lakes Building Division is notifying all property owners to be aware of, understand and manage the signs of structural damage resulting from heavy snow. Structural roof problems will be further compounded this weekend with the additional weight of rainwater absorbing into the existing snow adding considerable stress on your home. Now is the time to clear your roof or at least remove the top third or of half of the snow from the structure.
Small cracks in drywall and doors not closing fully can be common symptoms of snow-load-induced stress on buildings. While this may at first appear to be alarming, these signs are normal, even in average snow years, and your building is likely to be structurally sound. However, should you see broken or fractured structural members, such as roof rafters and beams, or deformed roof or wall surfaces, please report that damage right away to the Mammoth Lakes Building Division at (760) 937-5939 or (760) 965-3632.
The Town has posted important and potentially lifesaving information on the Town of Mammoth Lakes website, under “Quick Links” and as a printable PDF to help property owners understand the signs of structural damage from heavy snow and to help mitigate these impacts with local resources. Helpful and critical resources include contacts for local snow removal contractors as well as other general contractors, engineers, and building supply stores. For additional information, please contact the Town of Mammoth Lakes Building Division at (760) 965-3632.
Propane Tanks and Vents
For those homeowners that use propane, several responsibilities come with its use. The top of the tank needs to be routinely dug out and cleared to allow access to the shutoff valve and regulator venting. In addition, make sure that unprotected sections of all exterior gas pipes are cleared of snow/ice and protected from shedding snow and ice from your roof. Downward snow pressure from snow settlement and falling snow/ice from roofs has caused many pipe sections to crack resulting in leaks. Unfortunately, if the leak occurs under the snow, the snow traps the gas, and it may be some time before the leak is detected. Homeowners, landlords and tenants need to make sure that vents for appliances are cleared of snow and inspected so that a build-up of carbon monoxide inside does not occur. It is highly recommended that carbon monoxide detectors be installed inside structures in order to alert occupants to the build-up of carbon monoxide gas. Call the MLFD at (760) 934-2300 for additional information.
Temporary Overnight Parking
The Town of Mammoth Lakes has designated the Mammoth Ice Rink parking lot (416 Sierra Park Rd.) as a temporary overnight parking site for lodging guests and visitors in need of parking this weekend. Visitors are requested to NOT park in front of the Mammoth Lakes Library or the upper ice rink parking lot, but directly adjacent to the Mammoth Ice Rink. Visitors will not be ticketed during their stay but are asked to vacate the temporary overnight parking site by Sunday, March 12 at 6:00pm to allow for snow removal operations. Snow removal will be on-going during the evening and daylight hours. Review the map for directions.
The Mammoth Lakes Police Department is reminding citizens that there is no street parking from November 1 through April 30. Vehicles found parked in violation of these ordinances are subject to receiving a parking citation and/or may be impounded at the owner’s expense. Please park all vehicles as far off the roadway as possible behind the orange snow stakes. Identify your vehicle’s location with poles to keep it visible for snow removal operators.
The Town advises residents and visitors to be prepared by listening to KMMT 106.5 Sierra Wave 92.5 or KIBS 100.7 for current chain restrictions, road closures or shelter openings. In the event of any emergency, please call 911 for assistance.
Important Contact Numbers
- Town of Mammoth Lakes Building Division: (760) 965-3635
- Mammoth Hospital: (760) 934-3311
- Mammoth Lakes Police Department: (760) 965-3700
- Mammoth Lakes Fire Department: (760) 934-2300
- Mono County Sheriff’s Department: (760) 932-7549
- Mammoth Mountain Ski Area On-Hill Emergency Hotline: (760) 934-0611
- Caltrans, Current Highway Conditions: (800) 427-7623 or 511 or https://quickmap.dot.ca.gov
- AmeriGas Propane: (760) 934-2213
- Southern California Edison: (800) 611-1911 / https://www.sce.com/outage-
- Eastern Sierra Propane: (760) 872-2955
- Mammoth Community Water District: (760)934-2596 / (760) 914-0395
Please visit the Emergency Information page on the Town’s website or ReadyMono for emergency preparedness and important contact numbers.
(From Town of Mammoth Lakes)