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Local mountains hit with holiday weekend snow

February 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Up in the mountains, skiers and snowboarders are in store for some great conditions on the slopes. This could be the heaviest snowfall of the season.

The local resorts are depending on this snow to bring in the crowds. But that could be tricky. A winter storm warning is in effect, which is expected to bring dense fog, hail, heavy snow and icy roadways.

Caltrans said their crews, along with San Bernardino County Public Works, will be out clearing the roadways throughout the entire evening.

Despite the impending storm, President's Day weekend is expected to be jam packed. And while vacancies at local lodges and inns are still available, they were filling up fast.

This weekend's storm is expected to drop 1 to 2.5 feet of snow, which will give ski resorts some much needed powder on its runs.

"We have our back country area, Slide Peak, that is a natural snow only terrain," said Roger Vieau from Snow Valley. "And if we get a significant amount of snow we'll open that as soon as we can do so."

But for those who have already made their way up the mountain, there will be plenty of snow to enjoy this holiday weekend.

Caltrans are enforcing chains up the mountain and CHP will be checking for them. Highway 330 is closed and has been shut down since December when the last storm came through and took a section of the roadway out.

It's been raining off and on in Highland Friday. But people in this area of the Inland Empire are ready with sandbags lined up on standby.

The biggest concern is on Autumn Chase Drive, where there is tarp on the hillsides to prevent mudslides coming down into the backyards of homes.

Repair work continues at homes damaged by a powerful mudslide two months ago. This, as residents looked toward the clouds looming overhead.

After several days of non-stop heavy rain two months ago, cars were stuck in mud and homes were filled with mud. All after a storm channel running through the neighborhood overflowed, causing a mudslide.

"My kids are terrified, completely convinced that when it rains it's going to happen again," said Knight. That channel is right behind her family's backyard. "They do not want to stay here, they're scared."

The storm is also coming in as many drivers are heading out for President's Day weekend. Caltrans is concerned that if the snow levels drop like they're supposed to tomorrow, there could be problems on I-15 through the Cajon Pass.

"There may come a time when there will be escorts, or intermittent holds with CHP," said Terri Kasinga from Caltrans. "But we're going to keep that road open and keep it plowed."