Wild weather impacts Central California communities

Ana Torrea Image
Friday, April 5, 2024
Wild weather impacts Central California communities
The Thursday evening drive looked calmer after heavy rain came down hard earlier in the afternoon.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Thursday evening drive looked calmer after heavy rain came down hard earlier in the afternoon.

The downpour created for a messy commute home.

The California Highway Patrol says it saw several accidents in the afternoon because of the rain.

"We're going to get the extra volume of calls out there, especially with this major downpour, like we had or during the commute hour," said Officer Mike Salas with CHP Fresno. "The 99, the 41, the 180, they were really impacted with crashes out there, most of which we're going to be non-injury."

Fresh powder also covered the mountains.

The CHP told Action News they also received reports of heavy snow in the Shaver Lake area.

When it comes to active weather like this, you can expect to see more officers out on patrol.

"We have some extra staffing headed up there again, not only for the chain control, but we've had some issues with vehicles," said Officer Salas, "either spinning out or getting stuck in that snow."

ABC30 Insider Jim Allen shared photos before and after photos up in the Bootjack area.

Wednesday showed cleared blue skies with some snow dusting those mountain tops in the distance. But by Thursday afternoon, snow completely covered his yard.

Doug McIsaac also capturing snow in Bass Lake in Madera County.

The snow also impacted students in the Bass Lake School District who were trying to get home.

"Unfortunately the storm arrived a little early, about an hour and 45 minutes. Our afternoon routes were in the middle of the snow storm," said Superintendent Randy Seals of the Bass Lake Joint Union School District.

"Thankfully the snow was not sticking on the road initially. So our buses were able to run safely, but those staff and students who were part of the after school program, some of them were stranded at school for a while."

Supt. Seals said those students and staff were able to finally get home safely once the roads were cleared. But the storm forced schools in the Bass Lake School District to close tomorrow.

"The number one priority always is going to be the safety of our students, their families, and our staff," said Supt. Seals. "You can't put a price on a human life. When we're talking about overnight temperatures dropping well below freezing, the snow that we got this afternoon, behind it came a break. We had a melt off. So we have standing water out in our roadways."

Supt. Seals says they anticipate the closure to last only through Friday and expects school to be back on open on Monday.

The Yosemite Unified School District also cancelled classes tomorrow because of the weather and road conditions.

"Out of an abundance of caution, all Yosemite Unified schools will be closed tomorrow due to weather and road conditions. The safety of our students, staff, and families is of the utmost importance. We will utilize one of our pre-determined make up days later in the school year to ensure students receive the full year of learning," said Brian Beck, superintendent of the Yosemite Unified School District.

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