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Subscribe to USA TODAYAlready a print edition Men Canada Goose Hybridge Jacket Spirit Singapore Office subscriber, but don't have a login?Activate your digital access.Manage your account settings.My AccountLog OutJerry Walter of Forest Falls, Calif., puts chains on his vehicle before heading to his home in the Southern California mountain community on Dec. 30, 2014.(Photo: AP Photo/The Sun, Rick Sforza)Firefighters in Southern California completed the rescue early Wednesday of more than 180 motorists who were stranded when a winter storm brought snow to the San Bernardino Mountains.The San Bernardino County Fire Department said in a news release that 136 people were rescued on State Highway 138 near the communities of Crestline and Mount Baldy, about 50 miles from Los Angeles.The drivers became stuck after more than a foot of snow fell in the area, which was also swept by high winds. The rescues came as an arctic air mass mangled transportation routes and left thousands without power in the state.Firefighters used SnowCats to navigate the steep, snowy switchbacks of Highway 138 to rescue about 50 motorists and transport them to First Baptist Church in Crestline. Red Cross workers there provided aid.Photos: Closer look at California weather conditionsCloser look at California snowSome motorists were able to drive away as plows cleared snow away. Others abandoned their cars and walked to their homes or nearby shelters.No serious collisions or injuries were reported.Another 50 people were stranded in snowy conditions around Mount Baldy, with about 25 near the Mount Baldy ski area and about 25 further down the mountain near Mount Baldy Village, the department said. Eventually, about 40 people were sheltered at Mount Baldy Lodge. Others were shuttled down the hill to Fire Station 12 in San Antonio Heights.Many stranded drivers feared they would have difficulty traversing the 10% grade and sharp turns on the descent from the Baldy ski lifts, which are located at an altitude of about 6,000 feet, KNBC TV reports.In the Sacramento area in Northern California, more than 8,000 customers were without power Tuesday afternoon because of gusty winds.In the San Francisco Bay Area, high winds felled trees and blocked freeways. BART, or the Bay Area Rapid Transit, experienced severe delays because of trees blown onto the tracks.
180 motorists rescued in Southern California snow