Firefighters Rescue Hundreds of Motorists Stranded Due to Storm

Firefighters rescued hundreds of motorists stranded due to the storm at Mount Baldy and Crestline overnight. 

Near the Mount Baldy ski area approximately 25  people were stranded, while further down the mountain near Mount Baldy Village another two dozen motorists awaited rescue. 

Rescue operations were completed at around 3 a.m, and a total of 40 people were sheltered at Mount Baldy Lodge, while  others were shuttled to Fire Station 12 in San Antonio Heights, San Bernardino County Fire Department said.

Calls began coming in from stranded motorists around 7 p.m. Tuesday, as drivers found increasing difficulty negotiating the 10 percent grade and tight hairpin bends on the descent from the Baldy ski lifts. The ski lifts are situated at an altitude of about 6,000 feet. 

In nearby Crestline, a total of 136 motorists in dozens of vehicles became stranded on State Highway 138 from one mile north of Old Mill Road to Pilot Rock.

An incident command post was established, and County Fire crews from High Desert, Crest Forest and Lake Arrowhead came to their aid. No serious collisions or medical emergencies were initially reported.

A total of 50 rescued persons were eventually sheltered at the First Baptist Church in Crestline. Some motorists were either able to eventually drive away as plows cleared snow on the periphery of the incident. Still others abandoned their vehicles and walked to shelter or were able to reach their homes.

The National Weather Service said the winter storm that hit Southern California overnight would bring snow levels down to 2,000 feet in some areas.

City News Service contributed to this report

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