Highway 18 in Running Springs closed due to storm damage

RUNNING SPRINGS, Calif. (KABC) -- From up above Running Springs may look like a winter wonderland, but on the ground it's not all fun and games.

Caltrans contractors made emergency repairs to Highway 18, just a mile up from the Green Valley turnoff after the recent storms did plenty of damage.

"There's actually locations where there is no dirt under the road and it just completely washed out under the pavement," said Terri Kasinga, with Caltrans.

So for the time being, the roadway is closed. Still, car after car after car made left turns toward Green Valley Lake, believing it to be a detour.

On a holiday weekend, there were a lot of people trying to get up to see the snow. But many of them, including Sal Avalos, didn't come prepared with chains and had to turn around.

"I thought I'd just bring the wife and the kids a day off and go have some fun today," he said. "Before we got all the way up, my wife said might as well turn around and come out over here. So that's what we did."

Video captured overnight showed a lot of people took the chance to go up without chains. Caltrans said hundreds of people ended up stuck on Highway 38 when conditions changed and the storm moved in.

"I can't tell people how important it is that you have to bring your chains whether it's snowing or not," Kasinga said.

With Highway 18 closed, the Snow Valley Ski and Snowboard resort is also closed. Although officials said they'll be ready to go as soon as the repair work is done.

"Well the mountain looks great. There's plenty of snow. We've had almost a foot and a half since Friday, believe it or not," said Kevin Somes, with the resort.

Caltrans said it could take up to two weeks to get that part of the highway reopened.
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