Heading to the Valley foothills to see snow? You may cause more harm than good

Thursday, January 28, 2021
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Shaver Lake residents say visitors are parking alongside the road to be in closed areas, blocking driveways, and leaving garbage on their properties.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Road crews are working around the clock to clear the roads as snow falls over the Sierra.

The dangerous conditions, however, aren't stopping Valley visitors from coming to see the sights, and it's leading to some challenges.

"What we're seeing is there are many families from the Valley floor who are choosing to come up and enjoy the snow, but they really don't know where they're going. So as soon as they see a large open area with snow they'll pull off on the side of the road and many times go onto people's private property," says Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig.

Shaver Lake residents say visitors are parking alongside the road to be in areas that are closed due to Creek Fire damage, while others are blocking driveways.

"These are our homes, we need to have access to them. They throw their picnic tables on someone's private property and they leave their garbage," says one resident, Suzanne Motte.

The increase in visitors has also led to an increase in accidents.

"Our Shaver officers are taking a beating with the volume of calls being affected by the snow," says Mike Salas with the CHP.

Meanwhile, Caltrans officials say they're concerned about the snow melting once the storm passes, increasing the potential for mudslides.

"Our tree crews have been laying them parallel to the roadway to create a natural debris flow catcher," says Elizabeth Yelton with Caltrans.

Shaver Lake residents hope travelers will enjoy the snow once the storm passes, but to do so safely.