5 Freeway reopens in Grapevine after heavy snow on Thanksgiving

LEBEC, Calif. (KABC) -- The California Highway Patrol is carefully reopening the 5 Freeway through the snow-covered Grapevine after closing it for about two hours Thursday evening.

By around 9:30 p.m., the southbound lanes were reopened. CHP officers are escorting vehicles on the northbound side.

"Thank you for your patience and drive slowly and carefully through the pass!" Caltrans tweeted.

The Grapevine was closed twice on Thursday as the snow made the road treacherous, first for much of Thanksgiving morning and then later in the evening around 8 p.m.

Caltrans tweeted out an alternate route for drivers heading north and south:

Earlier Thursday, the CHP ordered the shutdown of the freeway in both directions shortly before 4:40 a.m. Caltrans crews assisted vehicles that were already on the pass to the other side and then cleared the roadway.
About 1:30 p.m., officials announced that units from the CHP's Fort Tejon station were escorting southbound drivers. Escorts on the northbound side began before 3 p.m.

Motorists were urged to use the 101 Freeway as an alternative. The Highway Patrol also suggested a detour comprised of the 14 Freeway and the 58 Freeway through the Mojave Desert, but snowy conditions prompted the closure of the 58 shortly before 10 a.m.

That first closure lasted for about two hours, with the CHP announcing the reopening of the 58 just after 12 p.m. Highway Patrol units were also escorting vehicles on that freeway.

The CHP posted the Grapevine detour maps on the agency's Facebook page, along with photos of stranded vehicles that were being towed to safety.

Dan Croslin said he was thankful to have driven up to the area from his home in Buena Park before the snowfall began.

"When we got up here yesterday it was beautiful," Croslin said. "I thought we got pretty fortunate, because it was sunny, the road was dry. And for all the warnings during that little period of time, it was great.

"But I wouldn't want to be driving right at the moment," he said, his hair and coat covered with snow. "It's pretty bad."

The storm that landed Wednesday was expected to impact the heavily traveled mountain passes, including along the Grapevine, with snow and potentially icy roads creating dangerous driving conditions through Friday.

CHP officers had also escorted drivers through the Grapevine for several hours amid heavy snowfall on Wednesday morning.
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