At last report, Highway 395 was re-opened Monday afternoon. Seriously blowing snow and zero visibility caused closure on Sunday.
Stuck in a time warp. That’s how some in Mono County described the relentless weather – snow, swirling wind and dark clouds.
It meant more business for the little town of Bridgeport and its restaurants, bars and motels, but major inconvenience for many. The blowing snow and zero visibility kept 395 shut down until authorities began to escort motorists through to the open part of the highway.
Meanwhile, Mono Search and Rescue responded to distraught family and friends of two Valencia men, who had reportedly snowshoed into the back country from Tamarack Lodge. Heather Flebbe, a friend in Valencia, said that the two men are in their 50s. They planned to snowshoe in and snow camp Saturday with plans to come out Sunday afternoon. The men had still not appeared as of news time.
Avalanche danger is considered high on all slopes above 7,000 feet. The Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center issued a backcountry avalanche warning for our area yesterday. They point out that the snow storm that has just moved through dropped lots of snow and wind conditions complicated matters. More snow showers were expected Tuesday in the upper elevations of Mono County.
The snow and wind conditions continued to impact local activities. The Village Championships race scheduled at MMSA for today was postponed until next Tuesday. Check with officials on local meetings which may or may not be subject to postponement.
On the up side, snow levels have definitely increased. With still more weather expected, the winter has clearly stepped out of early predictions of drought, although DWP’s last graph on the snowpack still shows snow levels below the long term average.
When the most recent snow are counted, that outlook will likely improve. Right now, DWP’s report shows the snowpack at Mammoth Pass at 17.5 inches of water. Last year at this time the water content stood at less than 10 inches. So, things clearly look better this year over last. The snowpack was measured last Wednesday and does still sit under the long term average by about 8 inches of water.
Again, another survey will very likely offer up more water content.
For continuing weather updates, You can log on to www.visitmammoth.com and check out our weather forecasts on this website.
Also, stay tuned to KSRW FM for updates. 92.5FM from Little Lake through Mammoth Lakes and 96.5FM in Crowley, June Lake, Lee Vining and Bridgeport.