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Vans, small trucks deliver supplies to snowed-in Big Bear [Updated]

January 25, 2010 | 10:39 am

Authorities lifted a ban this morning on small delivery vehicles on Highway 18 into Lake Arrowhead, Crestline and Twin Peaks to get supplies to the snowed-in mountains, said Caltrans spokeswoman Terri Kasinga.

But larger supply trucks hauling trailers remained restricted from the roadways into Big Bear Valley for safety reasons, California Highway Patrol officials said.

“The problem is there’s so much snow -- there’s only so much place you can put the snow,” said CHP Sgt. Sal Suarez. “We can’t get big rigs and buses to be traveling along with vehicles in the other direction, otherwise it’ll clog up.”

Suarez said smaller, two-axle trucks with no trailers were compact enough to pass up the mountain. “Once we have the roadway conditions prepared, most likely we can open it up for all vehicles,” he said.

Caltrans and CHP officials plan to reassess the situation at noon. [Updated at 1:56 p.m.: After a noon meeting, authorities are allowing large supply trucks to carry food, fuel and other essentials up Highway 38 into Big Bear, Kasinga said.

"Big Bear is replenished," Kasinga said. "They're saying they can handle the public right now."]

Routes into Big Bear were closed Sunday because of impassable roads and tough weather conditions.

-- Amina Khan

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