Highways reopen for San Bernardino mountain residents as many cars are still trapped in snow

Eric Resendiz Image
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Highways reopen for residents of San Bernardino mountain communities
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Some mountain residents say they will no longer rely on San Bernardino County in a disaster after what has unfolded the past few weeks.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- Highways have reopened for both lanes of traffic for mountain residents after days of chaos and confusion over who was allowed to drive up the San Bernardino Mountains to the hard hit communities there.

As of Monday, mountain residents had only been allowed down the mountain, leaving them stranded after picking up food and medicine for themselves and loved ones.

Now, county officials say the highways will be open indefinitely to residents. Non-residents are still not allowed to drive on major roads such as Highway 18.

Officials also say that nearly 90% of county roads have been plowed as of Tuesday, leaving only 60 miles for crews to plow.

Despite the progress, many residents still have to dig out their cars and must shovel snow off their roofs to prevent a collapse.

Food distribution centers have remained open in the county, but only for as long as supplies last.

For many, the distribution centers set up by the county are their lifeline as local grocery stores begin to have empty shelves.

Teresa Salinas, a resident of Crestline, said that she is grateful for the centers because she ran out of food at her home.

"I was in my house for about a week," said Salinas. "I was down to my peanut butter can so that helped."

Other residents have been walking for up to four miles to reach a distribution center for food.

Food has been provided by the county as well as people and organizations who have donated food to help the struggling communities. As of Tuesday, the food deliveries were happening on a daily basis.

The county response has left many residents disgruntled, and is even leaving some thinking they can no longer rely on San Bernardino County in a disaster.

"I think the bigger lesson here is people should not rely on the county in a disaster, whether that's an earthquakes, snow, whatever," said Timothy Kiley of Crestline. "You've got to look out for your neighbors and your neighbors look out for you."