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Winter storm brings snow to SoCal mountains

December 2, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Blue skies and high clouds looked down on Big Bear Friday, as a fresh layer of snow covered many of the homes there.

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Plows are still out and about, but for the most part, the roads are clear.

After a storm dumped about 12 inches of snow, residents are looking forward to a good weekend.

So are restaurant owners, like Jayme Nordine of Grizzly's Bear Belly Deli

"Hopefully it'll mean everybody's up here for the weekend, the roads are clean, the weather's real nice, I saw blue skies all day today, and everybody should be up here on that fresh foot of powder tomorrow," he said.

But inside the Bear Belly Deli, the talk wasn't about how devastating the recent Santa Ana winds were, but actually how mild they were up in Big Bear Lake.

"That's one of the great reasons we're up here. We used to used to live in Fontana, you've been to Fontana in a wind," said Rob Karns of Big Bear Lake.

But while conditions were relatively serene in Big Bear, people in Angelus Oaks say it was very windy Thursday.

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It even knocked the power out for about 350 customers, but inside the Oaks Restaurant, the power came back on just before lunch time.

"I'm happy that the power's back on, but now I have to do a whole bunch of extra work...We just got a whole bunch of snow up in Big Bear, so hopefully we will be getting busier," said Teanna Fink of the Oaks Restaurant.

As of Friday evening, there were still about 200 residents in Angelus Oaks without power. Southern California Edison said they are trying to restore power to residents by late this weekend.

All this wintery weather is also good news for skiers and snow boarders.

Big Bear business owners say a strong snow season is exactly what they need.

Driveways and paths had to be cleared, but people were not complaining.

"You know there's a saying in Big Bear, 'When it snows, it snows dollars,' and this equates to dollars for this community so it's a wonderful economic boost. We look forward to it every year," said Big Bear resident Janet Stevens-Moore.

The snow brought skiers and snowboarders to the mountain. The parking lot at Bear Mountain Resort was packed Friday morning.

"You can get up here with the chains and stuff like that, I mean you know it's going to be busy, especially with the nice clear day afterwards. Everybody's going to be looking to come up and get a couple runs in," said Hesperia resident Matt Eyre.

Both Snow Summit and Bear Mountain are anticipating a busy weekend and are expected to open more runs for skiers and snowboarders.

As of Friday morning, chains were required on all roads leading to Big Bear.

See photos of wind damage across Southern California.

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