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Snow blankets local mountains

January 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Heavy snowfall came down and blanketed local mountains in the Southland Wednesday.A steady blanket of snow came down in Frazier Park Wednesday. Many locals took to the mountains to enjoy the winter weather.

The snow covered the roads and made driving conditions difficult in the local mountains. Businesses and schools are closed in parts of the town.

Frazier Park residents say it has been awhile since they have seen this much snow.

"Everybody is so excited because it is good for us here. We have been so dry. We have all different types of reactions. It is always fun though no matter how it happens," said Dale Hansen, resident.

"It is the best since we moved here and we've been here for three years and hope it doesn't get any better. We've got to go because we are freezing," said Cindy Ferguson, resident.

Road signs are up warning drivers of icy road conditions. Authorities say that chains are required for vehicles heading to the mountain areas.

Authorities shutdown the Grapevine Wednesday at approximately 5:00 p.m. California Highway Patrol officers served as escorts through the area throughout the day to keep drivers safe.

"When the temperatures start to drop this evening the ice will turn to ice and it is even more treacherous then. We recommend that people drive slow and keep plenty of distance between you and the other vehicles. You should also call ahead for road conditions. We expect it will get worse later on," said Kevin George, Kern Co. Sheriff's Dept.

Some Frazier Park visitors say they will not drive in the heavy snow storm. They say that they are basically snowed in.

"We are and it is almost like a white out, but it is so beautiful and we are not to cold. We don't have to be on the road. We are having a good time. This is what we wanted to do when we originally came up here," said Paula DeLeon, visitor.

All the snow is good news for mountain residents. And like metal to a magnet, it's already attracting visitors.

"For the business it's going to be great," said Mike Geike, restaurant owner. "I mean, it's going to bring all the people from Bakersfield, L.A., and they're going to come up and enjoy the snow. It's going to be awesome."

For a lot of merchants up in the mountain area, a good snow fall is the difference between a good year and a bad one.

"On the weekends everyone will be up here playing, having a great time and you know it really helps the economy in this area 'cause you know, there's not much else to do," said Cathy Speakman, a Frazier Park resident.

There is a downside to all of the winter weather, and that's driving. Visibility is bad and traction is even worse. Officials advise all drivers to be cautious and to drive slowly.

Eyewitness News reporters Leo Stallworth and John Gregory contributed to this report.


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