The National Weather Service tweeted out that snow was starting to stick on the freeway around 9 a.m. At that time, the California Highway Patrol started to do pacing of vehicles in an effort to slow speeds and keep the road open, but by noon Caltrans reported spinouts, accidents and heavy snow accumulations on the highway, leading officials to call for the closure of a section of Interstate 5.
Several vehicles were stuck on the highway when the closure was ordered, and shortly after 4 p.m., Caltrans announced that the snow had been cleared enough to release six or seven of the stuck vehicles at a time in the northbound direction.
As an alternative, drivers heading south could have used SR-58 to cross the Tehachapi Mountains and SR-14 to connect with Southern California. However, trucks and other large vehicles were being advised to avoid this detour due to high winds that had overturned several big rigs.
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Northbound I-5 is now OPEN in Castaic! https://t.co/U7X95G5x8B— Caltrans District 6 (@CaltransDist6) January 15, 2019
View from NB lane on I-5 near Parker Road is no better than SB view (See earlier tweet). I-5 remains CLOSED in both directions from Parker Road to Grapevine Road due to heavy snow. SR 33 also is CLOSED between Wheeler Gorge Campground and Route 166. Seek alternate routes. pic.twitter.com/cnQTJEaiMn— Caltrans District 7 (@CaltransDist7) January 14, 2019
View from SB lanes of I-5 at #Gorman. I-5 remains CLOSED in both directions, from NB at Parker Road and SB at Grapevine Road. Snow is sticking to roadway. @CaltransDist7 is using snowplows to clear roads but duration unknown. Avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/DuyE0ITS8e— Caltrans District 7 (@CaltransDist7) January 14, 2019
I-5 CLOSURE: All lanes CLOSED in both directions on I-5 in Gorman/Lebec area due to heavy snow, accidents and vehicles stopped, NB lanes closed at Parker Road. SB lanes closed at Grapevine Road. Avoid the area. Duration unknown. pic.twitter.com/v5VBGQ5hg5— Caltrans District 7 (@CaltransDist7) January 14, 2019
It's snowing on #I-5 at #Lebec. @CHP is escorting traffic in some areas of the #Grapevine. Avoid the area if possible. Check Quickmap, https://t.co/NBeQFoO0lp, for latest road conditions and possible closures. pic.twitter.com/USaNduSDui— Caltrans District 7 (@CaltransDist7) January 14, 2019
Traffic is SLOW on #I-5 over Grapevine due to heavy snow and near-freezing weather. If you must travel, motorists should take first-aid kits, blankets, flash lights, snacks and water. Several vehicles are reported stuck near Gorman. Best advice: Avoid the area and drive safely. pic.twitter.com/EfRBREaw0e— Caltrans District 7 (@CaltransDist7) January 14, 2019