San Bernardino County

Crestline Grocery Store Roof Collapses Under Weight of Snow

A state of emergency was declared by California's governor in San Bernardino and 12 other counties after this week's storms.

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The roof of a grocery store in Crestline collapsed Wednesday under the weight of snow that piled several feet high in Southern California mountain communities during a series of powerful winter storms.

Safety inspectors were on-site assessing the extent of the damage at Goodwin and Sons Market. No injuries were reported.

The store is one of several structures in San Bernardino County damaged by days of extreme weather. Crews are working around the clock to plow roads, but it could take more than a week to reach some areas, said Dawn Rowe, chair of the county’s board of supervisors.

Residents are dealing with as much as 7 feet of snow in some areas. Many need the food on shelves at the market, which posted an update and thank-you message Thursday on Facebook.

"Many people have questions about the food at the store. We need to make it very clear that it is absolutely unsafe at this time to access the food in the store. It is currently RED TAGGED. We would love more than anything to give the food out but at this time are waiting for a structural engineer, and the adjuster who are heading up the mountain this morning to meet with us.

"We will keep everyone updated through social media as to if and when we have an opportunity for food distribution."

In an earlier post, the store said an additional 2 feet of snow proved too much for the roof to handle. Damage appeared in a corner of the building Wednesday morning, but the entire roof came down hours later.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday proclaimed a state of emergency in San Bernardino and 12 other counties to support disaster relief by making state agencies and aid available and asking for federal help in clearing and repairing highways. The governor announced that the state was bringing in more snow plows and road crews to help clear roads and he authorized the California National Guard to mobilize for disaster response if needed.

National Guard team members from Fresno were expected to arrive Thursday in San Bernardino County. Crews from Caltrans and Cal Fire with high-clearance vehicles arrived overnight.

The county has set up a hotline for residents dealing with issues like frozen pipes, roof problems and food shortages. The San Bernardino Mountains are a major tourism and recreation destination but also home to a large year-round population in small cities and communities around lakes and scattered along winding roads. About 80,000 people live either part- or full-time in the communities affected, said David Wert, a county spokesman.

The storm moved out late Wednesday, leaving much of California with dry conditions into the weekend.

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