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Storm could bring more snow and closures to mountains [Updated]

January 26, 2010 |  7:57 am

A new storm blowing into Southern California today could bring several inches of snow and more icy road conditions to mountain areas.

The storm is expected to drop from 3 to 6 inches of snow tonight in mountain areas above 5,000 feet in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to the National Weather Service,

All roads to Big Bear, including Highways 38 and 18, were open this morning to traffic except semi-trucks and buses, but the situation could change quickly if snow starts to fall, said Terry Kasinga, a Caltrans spokeswoman.

[Updated at 8:44 a.m.: Transportation officials have established a one-way circulation route around Big Bear Lake to allow trucks and buses to get in and out of the area amid intermittent road closures due to snow and icy conditions.

Trucks and buses will be allowed to travel in one direction only around the lake — eastbound on Highway 18 on the lake’s southern shore and westbound on Highway 38 along the north shore — Kasinga said.

All roads to Big Bear remain open this morning to cars and trucks with snow chains, she said.]

"Those slopes are full of a lot of snow, and we don't know what this new storm is bringing," Kasinga said. "We're hopeful that we can keep the roads open, but we don't know if we're going to have to close them again."

The California Highway Patrol is recommending chains for all drivers heading to mountain areas.

San Bernardino County officials concerned about snow and ice-related road conditions closed access to the entire Big Bear Valley on Sunday night to everyone except residents and convoys supplying emergency food,  fuel and other supplies.

Crews spent Monday clearing roads to restore access to residents, as well skiers and other visitors.

As the next storm approaches, Caltrans advises travelers to check its website for information, or call (800) 427-7623 for updates on road conditions and closures.

-- Tony Barboza

Photo: Snow-covered cabins overlook icy Big Bear Lake at the west entrance to town as the area recovers from a week of heavy storms. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

More photos > > > >

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