The Town of Mammoth Lakes is notifying all residents and visitors to be prepared for a significant Atmospheric River event bringing heavy rain, snow and potential areas of flooding to Mammoth Lakes beginning Wednesday, March 21 through Thursday, March 22, 2018.
Winter Storm/Flood Watch
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch and Flood Watch from Wednesdayafternoon through late Thursday night. A warm and wet winter storm with a deep tap of sub-tropical moisture will bring moderate to heavy rain to areas below 8,000 feet Wednesday afternoon and evening. The snow levels fall to 7,500 feet by Thursday morning, but the moderate to heavy rain continues into Thursday evening. Rainfall amounts of up to 3 inches are possible below 7,500 feet west of Highway 395. Total snow accumulations of 2 – 4 feet above 8,000 feet, with localized amounts up to 6 feet near the Sierra crest are possible, with 4 to 12 inches possible along and west of Highway 395.
There is a potential for significant snow accumulations and gusty winds that may create hazardous winter driving conditions over passes and in wind prone areas along Highway 395. Significant travel delays and road closures are possible. Travel could be very difficult with some roads covered by water and impacted by rock, mud and snow slides. There is also concern for increased runoff for elevations below 8,000 feetWednesday night into Thursday. Flooding near blocked drains (snow covered), smaller creeks and streams, and other normally prone areas will be an issue. Rockslides too. Main rivers rising but most remaining below flood status.
Sandbags are available for residential property use at the Town Yard (299 Commerce Drive). The Town asks that you only take what you need and be respectful of others. To report areas of flooding, please call(760) 965-3681 and be prepared to leave a short, concise message. Your call will be returned in a timely manner. In the event of any emergency, please call 911 for assistance.
- Prepare for heavy rainfall by clearing drainages and gutters of debris and snow to help mitigate flooding potential. Important – drains blocked by snow in mountain communities are a big source of unexpected flooding problems.
- Best opportunity for trans-Sierra travel is now through Wednesdayearly evening. Delays due to heavy rainfall, low visibility, or pass elevation snows starting Wednesday night lasting into earlyFriday.
- Prepare for stronger winds – while damaging winds are not expected, the next couple of days offers time to secure outdoor furniture, temporary construction structures, canopies, and don’t forget about the trash cans.
- Stock up on water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, along with special items for medical conditions. You may also consider an alternative way to heat your home; and if you have to drive, carry chains, make sure your gas tank is full, bring a charged cell phone, emergency food, water and blankets or sleeping bags and a shovel.
The Town advises residents and visitors to be prepared by listening to KMMT 106.5 and Sierra Wave 92.5 for any road closures or shelter openings. The Town, as needed will post updated information on the Public Information Line: (760) 965-3612, Town e-News and www.Townofmammothlakes.ca.gov. In the event of any emergency, please call 911 for assistance.