Heavy snow caused local authorities to close Interstate 5, the “Grapevine,” north of Los Angeles, as a winter storm continued to pound California on Thanksgiving morning.
Snow had already fallen in the area on Wednesday morning, as the storm began overnight, dumping rain on Los Angeles and snow on the surrounding mountains.
Local ABC affiliate KABC-7 reported Thursday:
Interstate 5 over the Grapevine has been closed Thursday morning due to heavy snow as a Thanksgiving storm continues hitting the area, authorities said.
The California Highway Patrol ordered the shut down of both directions of the freeway shortly before 4:40 a.m.
Authorities with Caltrans said it will assist vehicles already on the pass to the other side and then clear the roadway. It was not immediately known when lanes will open.
California High Patrol officers escorted drivers through the Grapevine for several hours amid heavy snowfall Wednesday morning.
Drivers were urged to use the Highway 101 as an alternative.
The Los Angeles Times reported that some ski resorts were forced to close because the snow was too heavy and blizzard conditions created logistical problems.
The winter weather may have caused nightmares for some Thanksgiving weekend travelers, but it is a boon to the state’s farmers and fisheries.
Thanksgiving is the traditional start of the rainy season. The state depends on winter precipitation to supply water to the rivers and reservoirs for the rest of the year.
Snow falling on the mountains is most important of all: aside from the benefit to ski resorts, the snowpack creates a vast natural reservoir that melts throughout the spring and early summer.
For five years, from 2011 to 2016, very little rain fell during the winter months, causing the worst drought in the state’s recent history.
However, since the winter of 2016-17, California has enjoyed rainy winters. In that sense, the winter of 2018-9 is off to a good start.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.