Mammoth’s record month and its consequences
After a series of storms dropped more than 20 feet of snow on Mammoth Mountain, setting a monthly snowfall record for the town, the Town of Mammoth Lakes has been feeling the effects of too much of a good thing. On Tuesday, January 24, Mammoth Mountain reported that it had received 246 inches of snow in January alone.
All that snow has come with a price. Highway 395 was closed for nearly 24 hours from Sunday through Monday. Vehicles were stranded in Mammoth Lakes during that time.
Main Street had been reduced to a two lane road. As of press time, most of the bus stops on Main Street are inaccessible to pedestrians. In places where town sidewalks have been cleared, pedestrians often walk half a block between 10 foot walls of snow, only to encounter a wall of the stuff and have to climb out, onto the street, or turn around.
Residents have reported being unable to drive some town streets, others are watching their roofs bow under the weight of snow. Some have had windows shatter, and others have had their doors blocked in by debris from Town of Mammoth Lakes snow blowers.
Mono County Sheriff and Director of Emergency Services Ingrid Braun did not declare a state of emergency last weekend, however, Braun told The Sheet on Thursday, January 26, that “the County is assessing damage throughout, including the Town and Special Districts (Fire and Water mostly). There is a strong probability that we will issue a Disaster Proclamation.” On Monday, California Gov. Jerry Brown requested federal assistance for 50 of California’s 58 counties. That does not include Mono County, but does include Inyo County.
“With this storm wreaking havoc on the entire state, I don’t know what resources could have been sent our way,” said Sheriff Braun in an email on Monday. She went on to say that declaring a disaster is the first step to getting reimbursed for disaster-related expenses.