San Bernardino County declares emergency over winter storm - Firenewsfeed!

San Bernardino County declares emergency over winter storm

San Bernardino County declares emergency over winter storm

Southern California’s latest batch of wintery weather has led to San Bernardino County officials declaring a state of emergency.

The emergency proclamation was made Monday evening, after many residents in the county’s mountain communities spent the weekend stranded or trapped at their homes due to several feet of snow.

The proclamation also comes as another storm system prepare to land in California, bringing with it even more snowfall in the upper altitudes.

Board of Supervisors Chair Dawn Rowe, whose district includes many of the impacted communities, called the emergency declaration an “important step” in securing state and federal assistance to clear out the snow from mountain highways, residential streets and other critical repairs and infrastructure work.

“Our team of state and local partners will continue working round-the-clock on a coordinated and comprehensive strategy to bring relief and resources to our residents, while also prioritizing the safety of all,” Rowe said.

On Monday, heavy snow stranded hundreds of motorists on highways that travel through San Bernardino County’s higher elevations. Dozens of elementary school children were also stranded at a science camp in Crestline for nearly a week. The California Highway Patrol was eventually able to escort a fleet of buses to evacuate the stranded students.

County officials said crews were working around the clock to clear some of the affected roadways and, although progress was being made in residential areas, there was no estimate for when the highways would be cleared.

Heavy equipment is currently being deployed to help remove the snow, but there are limitations into how much can be moved.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department is currently using “specialized snow vehicles” to reach patients in critical need of medical attention.

Local authorities are urging residents to avoid traveling on these dangerous roads to allow for critical work to be completed. Once the major arterial roadways are cleared, the focus will then turn to the secondary streets.

Several local law enforcement agencies have had to divert resources to conduct search and rescue for people getting stranded while making non-essential trips.

In the meantime, residents from the mountain communities who find themselves stuck away from their homes can take advantage of an American Red Cross center at East Valley High School in Redlands at 31000 E. Colton Ave. The shelter will be staffed Monday night until 8 p.m. and then from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the coming days.

A call center will also be in operation Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. That number is 909-387-3911.

The County also has a Frequently Asked Questions section regarding the storm and cleanup efforts on its website.

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