Dangerous weather conditions close Grapevine

GORMAN, Calif. The /*National Weather Service*/ said temperatures in Gorman are close to freezing. The bigger concern is for Monday night, when temperatures are expected to drop.

The upper elevations above 6,000 feet could get 1 to 2 feet from Monday's storm. The snow level could also drop down to 1,500 feet.

The /*California Highway Patrol*/ shut down all northbound and southbound lanes of the Grapevine section of the Interstate 5 Freeway Monday at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Patrol cars were escorting drivers that remained in the area through the dangerous section of the freeway. High winds, snow and rain caused the CHP to close the freeway due to high threat to vehicles.

Conditions had been deteriorating Monday afternoon before the CHP called for the closure.

Snowplows were clearing roadways in the area and on the freeway just north Of Gorman at about 6 p.m. Monday. CHP closed the Grapevine shortly after 5:30 p.m.

Truck drivers who travel the Grapevine know just how unpredictable the weather can be.

"Being turned over, getting stuck up here and not going nowhere," said Ruth Sanderson, a truck driver. "You go to the nearest exit and you park, where the best you can. You're stuck there until they open up the roads."

"I like it. We need the snow, and it's good, even though it's a big hassle to drive in," said driver Karen Lobina.

In Frazier Park, holiday decorations are getting the look and feel of winter. The light snowfall in the morning hours is expected to accumulate throughout the day.

Lebec resident Fred Cable said he's counting a foot or so of snow to fall in his town, adding that he plans to stay warm by his fireplace.

"My wife is good enough to bring up a bunch of firewood the last two days from work," he said. "We love the snow, that's why we moved up here."

Driver Tammy Sheffield said she's on her way to Bakersfield. She hoped to make it home before snow coated the Grapevine and prompted the California Highway Patrol to close the freeway.

"I'm used to it, but they're pretty good about keeping the roads closed, and if it's dangerous, they're not going to let people through," she said.

The CHP office in Bakersfield issued a weather advisory to caution drivers on the wet and windy conditions.

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