Friday, 03 February 2023

Officials prepare for more winter weather

LAKE COUNTY – County officials reported Friday that they were preparing for more snow as the weekend arrived.


Snow fell steadily in Cobb, Kelseyville and Lakeport, with some snow also reported around Clearlake, according to the National Weather Service.


County Public Works Director Gerald Shaul, who also oversees county road maintenance, said that at about 4 p.m. Thursday, as snow was arriving across parts of the county, road crews were already out and beginning to plow and clear roadways, Shaul said. “We don't wait to get called out.”


Shaul said at this time of year, his road crews split their shifts in order to be available for weather-related calls.


Road crews were out all night long Thursday, sanding and plowing county roads in the wake of the snowfall. “We've got people sleeping today getting ready to go back out again tonight.”


He said road crews, which have six plows at their disposal, focus on major collectors and arterial roads, such as Bottle Rock Road, which tend to have more traffic. Subdivision roads are secondary.


Bottle Rock, the Diener Drive area and Kit's Corner all were problem spots Thursday night, with the California Highway Patrol reporting vehicles going off the roads in those areas.


An area at the top of Bottle Rock is consistently a problem, said Shaul, mostly because people tend to drive too fast even in difficult conditions.


Road crews also are dispatched to areas to help when accidents take place, said Shaul.


Although CHP reports from Thursday night indicated dozens of cars going off area roadways due to snow, Officer Mike Humble said Friday that no actual collisions were reported as a result of the weather.


“We only have one documented crash,” said Humble, explaining that the incident was not weather-related, because it took place in Nice, where no snow fell.


Humble said CHP managed OK Thursday night, with five units working plus some officers on overtime.


“This is part of our normal maximum enforcement deployment for the holidays,” Humble said.


Snow didn't prove a major concern for the cities of Lakeport and Clearlake, according to officials.


Lakeport's Public Works Department reported that no snow plowing had taken place, and Lakeport Police reported no accidents or other weather-related incidents.


Clearlake Police Lt. Mike Hermann said he knew of no snow falling within the city Thursday, but wet conditions led to slushy, muddy streets.


Sheriff Rod Mitchell said that, despite a busy night Thursday, “We did not have to increase staffing as a result of the weather.”


The snow did, however, impact the agency's response time to calls, Mitchell added.


Mitchell said the sheriff's office was anticipating more snow overnight Friday and, with it, more calls to their dispatch center.


Snow was again falling in parts of the county late Friday, with the CHP reporting snow sticking on Highway 20 near the Double Eagle Ranch outside of Clearlake Oaks. Rain was falling steadily along parts of the Northshore Friday evening.


Highways 20, 29 and 175 all were reported clear and free from chain restrictions in Lake County late Friday, according to Caltrans.


However, the county Department of Public Works reported that chains or four-wheel drive vehicles were required when driving on Elk Mountain or Bartlett Springs roads.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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