Incident: Winter Weather Update
March 6, 2023
Incoming Atmospheric River Storm Expected Friday-Saturday: The public is urged to prepare for another storm beginning late this week by digging out propane tanks and lines and clearing roofs as much as possible. The National Weather Service expects the incoming storm to be warmer than the storms we’ve experienced thus far this season. The storm, which could arrive as soon as Thursday night, is forecast to bring between one and three inches of precipitation to the county, with almost all of that rain at elevationsfrom 7,000 feet and lower. Areas from 7,000 to 9,000 feet will see a mixture of rain and snow, with snow above 9,000 feet. The main concern with this Atmospheric River storm is that while the existing immense snowpack may absorb much of the rain (which will mitigate, but not eliminate, possible flooding), the extra weight of the rain-
soaked snow on top of buildings, propane tanks, and lines and other facilities could trigger structural damage or failure of some facilities.
Power Restoration: Power was expected to be restored to all of Mono County this evening, including all of Bridgeport and communities such as Twin Lakes. Generators for communities were being delivered today by the state, as well as wood for heating. That being said, it could still be into next week or longer before the transmission equipment that was damaged or destroyed in a series of avalanches last week is permanently replaced, allowing Southern California Edison (SCE) to return to normal operations in Mono County.
Caltrans, CAL FIRE Crews Arriving to Help With Snow Removal: In response to the local and statewide emergency declarations, the Mono County Office of Emergency Management has been notified that Caltrans crews and equipment will continue to arrive today to support local storm recovery efforts. They will also be hauling snow out of Mammoth, June Lake, Lee Vining, and Bridgeport. These crews can be shifted based on need. The plan is for them to be here for two weeks, working 24-hour shifts. CalFire crews are also in Mono County now doing snow removal support work.
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. Three meals a day are being served each day. The plan is to keep the shelter open through the coming storm and into next week and if needed, the following week. 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 31, for anyone displaced or without power. This is subject to availability. No pets. Call 1-800-321-6983 for reservations.
Mono County has declared a Local State of Emergency.
The Town of Mammoth Lakes has declared a Local State of Emergency.
Governor Newson has declared a State of Emergency for Mono County and several other counties impacted by the storm. The county is also pursuing a federal declaration of emergency.
An unsettled pattern of intermittent snow and sun is forecast to persist through Wednesday, with a partial break Thursday before the forecasted Atmospheric River storm arrives Thursday night or Friday morning.
U.S. 395 is now open from the junction of U.S. 395 and S.R. 203 to Bishop and points south. The highway is open from the junction to Lee Vining, but closed from Lee Vining to Bridgeport due to avalanches in the burned area above Mono Lake. The highway is open from Bridgeport north.
There is no estimated time for opening the section of U.S. 395 north of Lee Vining where a series of avalanches took out transmission facilities and crossed the road, burying sections of the road under 30-40 feet of snow and debris. However, due to improving weather conditions today, Caltrans was able to do some avalanche control work; they expect to have this work done tonight, clearing the way for crews to assess on-the-ground impacts of the avalanches. The best estimate is the road will be closed in that area for at least this week and into next week.
S.R. 167 from U.S. 395 to the Nevada state line is closed.
The Benton Crossing Road is fully closed.
SCE was able to energize the Lundy Power Plant and get power to all remaining customers affected by the outages.
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
(From READY Mono)