Heavy snow, fog blanket Inland Empire mountains

WRIGHTWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- In mountain communities of the Inland Empire, Friday's storm brought heavy snow, rain and wind.

Falling trees, rocks and mud shut down surface streets and freeways, bringing traffic to a standstill on major thoroughfares.

Along the Cajon Pass, drivers had to brave heavy fog, rain and wind. At one point, a mudslide shut down the northbound 15 near Cajon Junction, as crews worked to clear the blockage.

Near Wrightwood, the snow was heavy, requiring the use of chains, but the strong winds prevented skiing at the Mountain High resort.

More snow is expected when an even stronger storm hits by Sunday.

The Palmdale Sheriff's Station warned the public about an "extreme risk of snow avalanche in the Wrightwood area of the Angeles Forest. This risk will be present throughout the weekend and into next week."

The station advised people in that area who wish to play in the snow to stick to designated areas and not play or park in turnouts or along the road.

"Recent snowfall from previous storms, coupled with milder weather and the prediction of up to three feet of new snow, will create an unstable condition," the sheriff's station said. "The weight of the new snow atop an unsecured base, coupled with the area's steep terrain, will inevitably create spontaneous avalanches."

They also advised: "If you do travel in the back country, be prepared! Always dress appropriately for the worst. At a minimum you must carry a snow shovel, ice axe, avalanche probes, and an avalanche beacon. Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return."

"If you are caught in an avalanche, fight with all your effort to stay on top or work your way to the surface."
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