Thousands of residents of the San Bernardino Mountains faced a night without electricity amid a forecast of subfreezing temperatures because of a widespread power outage Saturday, Nov. 30. The affected areas included Crestline, Lake Arrowhead, Twin Peaks, Running Springs and Green Valley Lake, said Southern California Edison spokesman Paul Griffo.
Edison purchased four cords of firewood, Griffo said, and the San Bernardino County Fire Department distributed the wood to residents at the Crestline Chamber of Commerce at 24385 Lake Drive.
“Supplies are limited. We encourage affected residents to only take what is needed to get through the night,” a Fire Department Facebook post said. “Depending on the status of power restoration, additional firewood may be made available (Sunday) for customers who remain impacted by the storm outage.”
Wood was also available at Fire Station 26 at 737 Grandview Drive in Twin Peaks and Station 91 at 301 Highway 173 in Lake Arrowhead. Wood will be available starting at 6 a.m. Sunday at Station 95, 33596 Green Valley Lake Road in Green Valley Lake, a Fire Department tweet said late Saturday.
CORRECTION: Firewood is now available on a first come basis at the following locations:
SBCo Fire Station 26, 737 Grandview Dr., Twin Peaks
SBCO Fire Station 91, 301 Hwy. 173, Lake Arrowhead
0600 TOMORROW – SBCo Fire Station 95, 33596 Green Valley Lake Rd. Green Valley Lake @SCE
— SB County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) December 1, 2019
The forecast for the area, which is approximately at 5,400 feet elevation, was for an overnight low of 29 degrees. Sunday’s forecast was for a high of 43 and a low of 38.
Elsewhere, freezing rain and light snow were possible for the 5 Freeway in the Grapevine northwest of Los Angeles on Saturday night before a warming trend, the National Weather Service said. A storm that could drop rain in the valleys and snow on the higher elevations in Southern California was expected to begin Tuesday evening.
The San Bernardino Mountains outage, which Edison attributed to snow and strong winds causing trees to topple and knock down power lines, began Friday, affecting 24,600 customers. By 2 p.m. Saturday, that number was down to 7,500 customers. But at 5:30 p.m., that figure had increased to 10,300. At 9 p.m., 8,000 customers were without electricity.
“Due to the significant snowfall that has caused some road closures and additional access issues in the Arrowhead area, damage assessment and repairs are ongoing and we do not expect to have all customers restored overnight,” Edison said on its major outage website. Some 100 employees were attempting to get the lights back on, Edison said.
SBCoFire partners w/@SCE to provide firewood for mnt residents impacted by storm outage; Crestline Chamber of Commerce, 24385 Lake Drive, Crestline/Lake Gregory. SBCoFire hand crews are en route w/4 cords, expect delivery 5 pm. Supplies limited. More info: https://t.co/6k5xWXOMhk pic.twitter.com/EKdJP9ogBL
— SB County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) December 1, 2019
Roads covered by snow and ice and others that were closed entirely were slowing the response to the outage, Edison said.
Other Edison outages in the region were reported in Idyllwild, Redlands, Mentone, Forest Falls, Temescal Valley and the Antelope Valley. In all, 10,000 customers were without electricity at 9 p.m. Saturday.
Some residents of Temescal Valley lost electricity for 18 hours over Friday and Saturday after a vehicle hit a power pole on Lake Street in Lake Elsinore. Temescal Valley is served by only one transmission line, and that’s the one that was knocked out. Edison plans to begin construction on a 27-mile-long line from Menifee that will run through Perris, Lake Elsinore and into Temescal Valley starting next summer.
Mountain residents did receive some good news late Saturday.
SR 330 is open in both directions all motorists. SR 18 is open on the front side to Green Valley Lake – no Big Bear access. SR 38 is open to Big Bear and so is SR 18 from Lucerne. Bring chains R 2 conditions. Be safe and have patience. https://t.co/DWmXqRljRt pic.twitter.com/FFXeEyF57p
— Caltrans District 8 (@Caltrans8) December 1, 2019
In the San Bernardino Mountains, Highway 330, which had been closed from 3 miles north of San Bernardino, was opened in both directions to all motorists, Caltrans tweeted at 9:12 p.m. Highway 38 was opened from Yucaipa to Big Bear, as was Highway 18 from Lucerne Valley. Highway 18 was opened from Highway 330 to Green Valley Lake but not to Big Bear. Motorists were required to carry snow chains.
Also, Angeles Crest Highway remained closed at 6,000 feet (mile post 54.22).
All lanes of the eastbound 10 Freeway at 6th Street in Redlands were open Saturday after repairs were completed for a sinkhole on the shoulder caused by a drain that collapsed on Thanksgiving.
Precipitation is expected in Southern California after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, becoming heaviest about 11 p.m. The precipitation should continue into Wednesday morning. A slight chance of rain is forecast for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The storm will be warmer than the previous two, the weather service said, with much less snow accumulation expected. High temperatures in the mid- to high-60s are expected in the coming week.
“Consensus of rainfall amounts is around 1/2 to 1 inch at the coast, with some of the valleys and higher coastal terrain likely in the 1-2 inch range,” the NWS forecast discussion said.
Updates on road conditions are available on Caltrans’ Twitter feeds and at the Caltrans website at roads.dot.ca.gov.