Town Offices, Airport, More Closed as Blizzard Slows Mammoth to Crawl

Wendilyn Grasseschi
Times Reporter

The Town of Mammoth offices, the Mammoth Yosemite Airport, Mammoth Unified School District, U.S. 395 from Mammoth To Bridgeport and many other facilities and roads closed early in the day of Feb. 4 as a good, old-fashioned blizzard bore down on the town and region.

By noon Monday, the Town of Mammoth had declared a local emergency in an attempt to be able to recoup possible costs associated with shoveling the roof of Mammoth Hospital and other facilities.

Northbound U.S. 395 was closed from Mammoth to at least Bridgeport, with more closures possible as the storm continued to impact the region.

Businesses closed their doors and meetings were cancelled up and down the Eastern Sierra.

The storm was still expected to drop several feet of snow amidst the blowing wind and blizzard conditions before it exits sometime tomorrow, leaving a four-day storm total of between four and ten feet, depending on the elevation.

As of Feb. 4, Mammoth Mountain had fifteen feet of snow as a BASE DEPTH at the Summit, at about 11,000 feet elevation, with a base depth of about ten feet at Main Lodge. The season total for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, measured at the 9,000-foot-elevation Sesame Street station, was a cool 19 feet of snow, or 232 inches, at half way through the winter season; exactly where Mammoth Mountain should be in a "normal" winter, where the April 1 average is about 40 feet of snow.

More snow was in the forecast for the rest of the week, with another four feet between Monday and Tuesday evening, another, much lighter storm later this week and another into the weekend, possibly big, possibly not according to forecasters, who said it was still too soon to tell if the weekend storm would "boom" or "bust."

Then, according to Mammoth forecasters Howard Sheckter, a wetter and warmer pattern is setting up for sometime beginning next week. That could mean a subtropical or tropical connection, ie a Pineapple Express or "atmospheric river" storm, which could help the snowpack even more.