In a cooperative effort to determine traffic flow and visitor accommodations, the San Bernardino County Operational Areas Emergency Operations Center yesterday [Monday, January 25] hosted a phone conference with multiple agencies to determine the safety of the public and the needs of Big Bear Valley, and also determined that Highway 38 would be used for a convoy of immediate-need trucks carrying medical supplies, fuel, grocery/food items, etc. (This convoy arrived Monday evening.) Here is what was outlined, per the press release received by KBHR:
“Residents should be assured that Unified Command has been established between all Big Bear Valley Fire Agencies and are working very hard to continue to provide excellent emergency response and service to everyone. An intense cooperative operation between Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake, and San Bernardino County Fire Departments is occurring with additional staffing, deployment of equipment in strategic locations, and specialized equipment to facilitate emergency responses.
Ten CalFire hand crews have been deployed to the Big Bear Valley area. These crews have been instrumental in removing hazardous trees that were blocking roadways and plows, shoveling snow from roof of mobile home parks, and clearing fire hydrants.
The Red Cross Shelter at Big Bear Middle School remains open. The shelter will remain active until the need has diminished.
Local fire crews are performing damage assessments throughout their respective jurisdictions. As of this date [January 25] it appears that Big Bear Lake has had four mobile home roof collapses Big Bear City has had two roof collapses of mobile homes as well. Numerous sheds, carports, and aluminum enclosures have also sustained damage. These damage assessments could take several days to compile. Second homeowners that plan to visit their property should make arrangements with snow removal services to clear driveways prior to visiting, as the snow level is extremely high and will be very difficult to shovel.
Safety for everyone is of the utmost importance. Power lines are down throughout the neighborhoods and may be in snow banks and energized. Do not try to touch any down wires; fire crews have tried to mark the hazard with caution tape. Additionally, watch for falling snow from trees and roofs. Use common sense and do not take any chances under these heavy snow conditions.
Another storm is expected on Tuesday [today] with additional snow anticipated. While this is not normally an issue, with the large amounts of snow already here it could cause more issues. Be prepared and aware of the changing conditions.
All service crews, the electric company, snow plow operators, emergency service providers, and others are all working around the clock to restore the excellent services that Big Bear Valley is accustom to.”