Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in several California counties due to a winter storm that brought snow to Los Angeles. On Wednesday, the National Guard was deployed to assist residents, especially those in San Bernardino County who have been trapped in their homes for days.
The Sierra Nevada range in the north and Southern California mountain ranges were hit by several feet of snow on Wednesday and remain under winter storm watch leading into Thursday.
The National Weather Service issued wind, freeze, and winter storm warnings scattered throughout the state as temperatures hit sub-freezing lows down to 26 degrees Fahrenheit in certain areas. The counties named in the emergency declaration include Amador, Kern, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Nevada, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sierra, Sonoma, and Tulare.
The National Guard is working with local law enforcement to open shelters for residents and help deliver food and water to those trapped. Some areas not included in the declaration were not ordered to evacuate, including residents in Olympic Valley, east of Sacramento.
An avalanche struck an apartment building in the area around 7 pm on Tuesday, but no injuries were reported.
Several residents in the southern mountain ranges have requested help clearing the roads as food and water supplies run low. The storm left about 100,000 homes and businesses in the state without power as of Wednesday.
The powerful winter storm is now expected to spread snow, ice, and strong winds into parts of the Great Plains, Midwest, and Northeast by the end of the week, with the Boston area expected to see several more inches of snow by Friday.
Earlier this week, San Bernardino County declared a state of emergency as crews struggled to plow blocked roads. Jennifer Cobb and her husband, vacationing in the San Bernardino Mountains, found themselves trapped for a week by a relentless series of storms.
In the mountain town of Crestline, some people unable to drive trudged on foot to the grocery store.
About 50 bus passengers were stranded Tuesday night in Sacramento because heavy snow had shut down the highways, according to Daniel Bowers, who heads the city’s emergency management office.