(left) An empty northbound Interstate 5 on Thursday, Jan. 24. The southbound Gorman on-ramp was open for a period of time Thursday, prior to a new storm forecast for late Thursday or beginning Friday. (right) Pine Mountain residents with properly equipped vehicles enjoyed beautiful vistas on their drives out from the remote village community on Thursday morning.
FRAZIER PARK; Thursday, Jan. 24; 2:10 p.m.; According to a Caltrans press release, all vehicles previously stranded inside the Interstate 5 closure have now been removed; those with chains drove out and the remainder were towed.
Currently, seven snow plows and two graders are working around the clock to clear snow and ice from the roadway surface. Additionally, chemical de-icing agents and sand have been used to accelerate the process.
There is no estimate now as to when the freeway will reopen. The area will be closely monitored throughout the weekend with Caltrans and the CHP working together to ensure that no vehicles will be stranded. Updates will be sent out as conditions change.
A Kern County Waste Management Department press release says the Lebec Transfer Station has closed Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008 and will be closed Friday, Jan. 25, 2008 due to the weather conditions on the Grapevine. “We hope to be open by Saturday, if the weather permits” said Doug Landon, operations manager for the Kern County Waste Management Department. The Lebec Transfer Station provides refuse disposal services to the residents of the Frazier Park and Lebec mountain communities. Residents and businesses that obtain refuse collection services from Mountainside Sanitation should contact them at (661)831-2837 for questions regarding their trash pick-up schedule. A telephone hotline has been set up for those wishing to check on the status of the Lebec Transfer Station over the weekend. Lebec Transfer Station Hotline: (661)862-5277.
At 1:45 p.m. Interstate 5 between Parker Road in Castiac and Grapevine, remains closed due to snowy conditions while mountain residents enjoy the views. According to CHP Officer Wymore, of Fort Tejon Station, the Gorman southbound on-ramp is open and travelers can travel Interstate south from that point. No through traffic is allowed, however, from north or south of the Tejon Pass area (the Grapevine). Highway 138 is open, allowing access to Frazier Mountain communities from Highway 14 (Lancaster-Palmdale area). Post offices in Frazier Park, Pine Mountain and Lebec closed due to the Interstate 5 closure. Check this page for updates on Interstate 5.
At 12:50 p.m. CHP reported that they were escorting a small group of semis northbound from Frazier Mountain Park road in order to clear trucks out of the Flying J before the next storm hits.
The American Red Cross reminds all drivers to be prepared for unexpected foul weather conditions in the winter. Disaster relief officials from the Kern County Chapter explain that all travelers should have the following emergency supplies in their car:
- Full tank of gasoline
- Chains in mountain areas
- Cell Telephone fully charged, if available
- Heavy coat, gloves, change of clothes and durable shoes
- Food and water
- Battery powered radio, if possible
- First Aid Kit
If drivers are traveling with pets, be sure your animals have necessary food, water, blankets and medications.
FRAZIER PARK; Wednesday, Jan. 23; 4:56 p.m.; According to the Newhall California Highway Patrol, and the CHP Traffic Conditions website, the I-5 freeway has been shut down through the Grapevine at 4:50 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23 due to snowy conditions. Earlier a Fort Tejon Station CHP Officer told The Mountain Enterprise, "There are a lot of collisions out there on I-5."
Per CHP Traffic Conditions website, at 5:25 p.m. residents will be allowed past the closure only with chains or 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
This is part of the January 18, 2008 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.