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California declares state of emergency in 13 counties after brutal winter storm that trapped residents



Some California residents remain stuck inside their homes after a winter storm dumped feet of snow in the Golden State, prompting Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency in 13 counties, including the county of San Bernardino hard hit.

Authorities had carried out nearly 100 rescues there as of Wednesday night, San Bernardino County Fire Chief Dan Munsey told a news conference, though officials were not aware of any serious injuries or injuries. dead.

“We respond to medical calls. We respond to fires in these vehicle bombs. We go to people’s homes where they’ve had trees through their homes or some kind of roof collapse and evacuate them to our evacuation shelters,” Munsey said.

Just over 70,000 homes and businesses were left without power early Thursday, days after the first round of winter storms hit California, according to PowerOutage.us. And while the state is enjoying a brief respite from the snow through the end of the week, another system is expected to take hold in Northern California this weekend.

Newsom declared a state of emergency for San Bernardino County and 12 others — including Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties — on Wednesday evening, with his office saying in a statement that a significant number of staff at the state had responded in support of San Bernardino County.

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has been working to bring additional snow plows and road crews to the county, and Cal Fire and California National Guard personnel “stand ready to support operations” .

It could take a week to 10 days to dig up mountain communities hampered by heavy snowfall, officials warned at a news conference on Wednesday. Mountain residents were still unable to access the roads on Wednesday, according to fire department spokesman Eric Sherwin. The county has about 500 miles of narrow, winding roads in mountainous areas that need snow removal, county director of public works Brendon Biggs said.

Many parts of California have been buried in a significant amount of snow in recent days, and some places have received more than 100 inches in the past week, according to the National Weather Service, leading authorities to warn residents of possible avalanches. Residents of a three-story building in Olympic Valley had to be evacuated after an avalanche hit them Tuesday night, engulfing the lower two floors, the sheriff’s office said on Facebook. The occupants of the building are unharmed.

Lake Huntington in the Sierra Nevada saw 144 inches of snow, according to a report from the Fresno County Office of Emergency Services, which reported 10 to 12 feet of snow near China Peak, causing the closure of Highway 168 .

In Southern California, 106 inches of snow have been recorded since Feb. 22 at Mount Baldy outside of Los Angeles. Of those 106 inches, 29 fell over the past two days, according to CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward, while the other 77 inches fell late last week and throughout the weekend.

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