UPDATE: Recreation Manager and Public Information Officer Stu Brown has reported that the Mammoth Yosemite Airport is closed until further notice due to the weather.
Whether or not it’s a storm as big as those the area endured during the winters of 2004 and 2005, the Eastern Sierra is gearing up for a humdinger this weekend. All residents and visitors should prepare for periods of blizzard conditions and heavy snow beginning Friday, Dec 17, and running through Sunday, Dec. 19.
As of Thursday, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch, forecasting heavy snow and gusty winds. Snow accumulations of 3 to 8 feet are possible above 7,000 feet, with up to a foot of snow below 7,000 feet.
Travelers should exercise extreme caution, as snow accumulations and gusty winds are likely to create hazardous driving conditions over passes and in wind prone areas along U.S. 395. Town, Highway Patrol and Caltrans officials advised that travel delays and road closures are possible during the period.
The Town said residents and visitors could stay prepared by listening to local radio for any road closures or shelter openings. The Town will also post updated information on the Public Information Line: 760.934.8054 and online at www.TownofMammothLakes.com.
Be sure to stock up on water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, along with special items for medical conditions. (That goes for your pets, too.) Ready and alternate ways you have to heat your home. Stay off the roads when possible, but if you have to drive, carry chains, make sure your gas tank is full, bring a charged cell phone, emergency food, water and blankets or sleeping bags and a shovel.
“Lights” show will go on …
And despite predictions of storms this weekend, according to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Senior VP Bill Cockroft, Night of Lights is still a go. “We are continuing with all of our plans for this Saturday’s production of the 2010 Night Of Lights,” Cockroft said via a statement in a Chamber of Commerce e-mail update. “It is very likely there will be snow, but we have put on shows during snow storms before, and we are making plans for the additional things needed like snow removal, additional transportation, etc. The show is on.”