US 395 Still Closed; Avalanche Triggers Evacuations of McGee, Long Valley

Wendilyn Grasseschi
Times Reporter

The Eastern Sierra started the long process of digging out after one of the biggest storms in seven years pummeled the region for the past four days, shutting down major highways and burying Mammoth and even lower elevation areas in feet of snow.
Here's a few storm updates as of 9:20 a.m., Jan. 23:
Last night's avalanche between the exit to McGee Creek and the exit to Long Valley south of Mammoth resulted in residents begin evacuated and a shelter being set up at the Crowley Lake Community Center. No one was hurt, but one house was damaged by the avalanche.
The power is still out in some places near Crowley Lake; there are reports the avalanche took out a transformer but that has not been verified and it is unclear this morning how many people are without power in the area.
US 395 IS STILL CLOSED AS OF 9 AM BETWEEN GORGE ROAD 11 MILES NORTH OF BISHOP AND JUNE LAKE; monitor the Caltrans site at or CALL CALTRANS AT 511 for updates. There is no official estimate when the road will open, but the skies are clearing in the area finally.
Mammoth is buried, with about three feet of new snow since yesterday. It's still snowing lightly and things are moving very slowly in town as crews struggle to dig everyone out.
Both Cerro Coso and Mammoth Unified are on Red Days today; no school.