Mountains Brace For Rare October Snow

It looks more like January than October along routes to Big Bear, where CalTrans crews are stationed near mountain communities like Sky Forest.

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"This time of year, it's really not more than we can handle," said a confident John Perry, a CalTrans Highway Maintenance Supervisor.

Although the approaching storm may be more of a cub than a bear, precautions were put in place.
Hundreds of pounds of a special gravel and sand compound were ready to be spread on roadways if and when the first snow flakes fall.

But Perry says the real danger isn't rain or snow, but the impact the weather could have on the roads.

"Rocks will come off the cuts in the sides of the mountain down on route 18," said Perry. "That's going to cause problems for motorists to hit and they won't be able to get through. We have to keep it clear for them."

Clarity was definitely a problem even without road hazards. Thick fog blanketed the area, turning the drive along two lane roads into a crawl.

Conditions were better at Lake Arrowhead, where some people used the misty background for boating. Others were bracing for the early arrival of the first storm of the season.

"I've got cars that I park in the driveway," said Lake Arrowhead resident Kevin Rice. "I don't have a garage so I keep those covered. If it snows, I move them down the driveway."

CalTrans planned to work crews in 12 hour shifts, patrolling roads for debris or potential hazards.

CHP officers are asking motorists to bring warm clothes, chains, and exercise caution in case the predicted dusting at higher elevations turns into white-out conditions..

"Just give yourself some space between you and the car in front of you," said Officer Stan Brake of the California Highway Patrol "Give yourself a little extra time to stop. The roads are going to be slick if the snow does come in."

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