Emergency Crews Working to Help Residents in Snow Buried Communities Tony Shin %%item_date%% %%item_source%%
UPS delivery trucks are heading up Highway 18, carrying much needed medical supplies to communities struggling from the massive snowfall.
But once again, residents are waiting for hours for the roads to open for them.
“No one had any idea it was going to be this bad,” Gail Chandler, a Crestline resident, said.
Chandler has been trying to get to her home in Crestline since Tuesday.
She’s using the snow in the bed of her truck to keep food cold so she can bring it to her husband who’s been surviving on canned fruit.
Others who are snowed in are also frustrated that their neighborhood roads still haven’t been plowed.
“I have a cat that’s on its last legs and i need to get it to a vet,” David Honeywell, a Crestline resident, said.
Honeywell and his wife are desperate to get out of their home. So desperate, he wrote “help us” in giant letters in the snow hoping to catch the eye of a National Guard helicopter.
“I’m able bodied and can get around on foot. There are so many people that can’t and they’re stuck in their houses and I’ve gone around and tried to shovel people out and it’s really no point,” Honeywell said.
This morning, county leaders and first responders held a press conference to reassure mountain communities that help is already here and more help is coming.
“To access emergencies we’ve deployed eight snowcats across the mountain tops.. the snowcats are tracked vehicles and when they can use them they do,” Chief Dan Munsey said.
Munsey says his firefighters are sometimes having to dig their way into homes for emergency calls because so many roads are unplowed.
County leaders blame it on the incredible amount of snowfall from the recent storms.
“As of yesterday our mountain crews have removed over two point six million cubic yards of snow,” Jim Rodgers with Caltrans, said.
With two major grocery stores shut down because of snow damage, deputies are handing out ready to eat meals to hungry residents who are low on supplies.
The California National Guard brought in by Governor Newsom’s state of emergency declaration has hand crews helping first responders dig out buried homes.
“I can’t imagine being trapped in my home for days feeling helpless that is the feeling we are trying to remedy,” Tom Lackey, a state assembly member, said.
Many are grateful for the progress but some are frustrated by what they call a slow response to a major mountain crisis.
“And it’s not right. I have all kinds of stuff for three families. They haven’t went to the store in nine days and they can’t even get their cars out,” Frank Dambra, a Crestline resident, said.
Residents are hoping to be escorted soon but it’s still unclear exactly when that might happen.