Motorists, Prepare for Rainy Roadways and Highway Closures

Storm Warnings: Motorists Should Prepare for Rain-Slick Roadways and Highway Closures Ahead of Weekend Storm
Forest Landscape
Photo credit: Clarksville Online

MONO, INYO, & EASTERN KERN COUNTIES– The National Weather Service is forecasting a substantial storm this weekend for Mono, Inyo, and Eastern Kern counties. The storm is expected to bring heavy snowfall to the Sierra Nevada and significant rainfall to the Tehachapi Mountains and low-lying areas of the region, including Bishop, Ridgecrest, Mojave, and Rosamond.

With the season’s first major storm approaching, motorists should prepare for slick driving conditions and allow for extra time to reach their destinations. The first rain after a period of dry weather can create poor driving conditions, so Caltrans recommends drivers reduce their speed and allow for additional space between vehicles. Flooding, as well as mudslides and debris flows, are possible in heavy rain events.
As a rule, drivers should turn around and find an alternate route if they come across a roadway where they cannot see the markings on the road due to high waters. Drivers should also check their windshield wipers to see if they are in good shape before hitting the road and turn on their low-beam headlights when driving in stormy weather.
As a precautionary measure, Caltrans District 9 is closing several of its mountain and other high-elevation roads ahead of the storm’s arrival. Depending on the severity of the snowfall, these storm closures may transition into seasonal closures after Caltrans has assessed the roadways.
  • State Route 120 W at the Lee Vining Gate will close today, October 21, at 6:00 pm. This is in coordination with Yosemite National Park’s closure of Tioga Road.
  • State Route 120 E (Mono Mills Road) and State Route 270 (Bodie Road) will close tomorrow, Friday, October 22.
  • State Route 158 N (North June Lake Loop) will close Saturday, October 23.
  • State Route 108 (Sonora Pass) and State Route 89 (Monitor Pass)will remain in their current storm closures through the weekend and into next week.

Additionally, Caltrans District 9 may close its gate on State Route 168 W in Aspendell. All roads will be assessed for reopening

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Photo credit: Signals AZ

after the storm passes. To stay up to date on these road closures, be sure to follow Caltrans District 9 on Twitter (@Caltrans9) or Facebook (Caltrans9).

With snow in the forecast, drivers are reminded to keep a set of snow chains in their vehicles. Even vehicles equipped with snow tires need to keep these on hand as certain chain requirement levels will necessitate their use.
Motorists should also keep a snow duster readily available and use it to remove any snow that accumulates on their vehicles. Snow and ice dropping off the top of cars, trucks, and SUVs can create hazardous conditions for other vehicles on the road.
In the event of an extended delay, drivers should make sure they have a full tank of gas and keep the following supplies on hand:
  • Snacks & Water
  • Blankets
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Jumper Cables
  • Kitty Litter or Sand (for tire traction when stuck)
  • Windshield Scraper
  • First-Aid Kit
For the latest information on road closures and chain controls, please visit the Caltrans QuickMap site at call the Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).
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