Tony Krizan

A Surprising Snow Storm in the mountains

Snow in my front yard with 12 inches at Bass Lake Heights.
Snow in my front yard with 12 inches at Bass Lake Heights. Special to the Sierra Star

So far this winter started out being very tame and I’m speaking about snow and freezing temperatures. Our previous six years have been moderate until the month of February 2019. On the evening of Monday the forth of February temperatures dropped below freezing accompanied by a serious storm. Overnight and by morning this innocent storm deposited over 12 inches at my home in Bass Lake Heights. Those of us in this neighborhood who had commitments, such as jobs, attending school etc. were now snow bound. The snow fall was a problem and the steep hills of Balsam and Manzanita Drive added to this scenario. Both roads were the only streets leading to Highway 426 and Oakhurst.

I as well as my neighbors once again found usage for our forgotten snow shovels stored in the corner of the garage. After vigorous exercise with my shovel it is time to back my Jeep out of the garage and attempt to climb those steep snow covered roads to Highway 426.

In August, I traded vehicles and assumed my chains would fit my new vehicle. My chains were designed for a smaller tire. Now I’ll wait like everyone else for the snow plow to clear our road for passage into Oakhurst. Without realizing this storm was centered throughout the northern area of Madera County, and all snow plows were busy on main roads, I accepted being snow bound.

To make matters worse our power went off around 6:00 AM that morning. PGE was seriously trying to solve our electrical problem but when one of their huge repair trucks got stuck at the bottom of our hill; where is our snow plow?

I did strap on my snow shoes and made my way up the hill to Highway 426. The snow plow has been working to keep this main road clear, but what about our side streets? Well I’ll wait until morning and maybe he’ll blade these side roads. At day break the following morning, no snowplow! Two 4X4 trucks with chains did climb the steep road to Highway 426. The reminder of the neighborhood like me will have to wait. At least the power for our homes was repaired that afternoon.

Guess what? It started snowing again and lasted all day and into the night. Still no snowplow! The following day with a steady snow fall we accumulated another three and one half inches. Still no snowplow! The following morning we had a slight break in this storm and around one o’clock PM, you guessed it; the snowplow arrived. By early evening it started snowing again and by morning we accumulated another eight and a quarter inches of snow. It took another two days wait for the plow to remove this new snow. Maybe I’ll see Oakhurst before the day is over.

Later that day my Jeep and I managed to forge our way to Highway 426 and I was surprised the roads into Oakhurst were clear. Nature displayed quite a difference in snow depth in Oakhurst at 2,200 feet, I’m talking inches. At my home in Bass Lake Heights, which is above 3,500 feet so far we accumulated 22 inches from this series of storms.

As I set in front of my computer expressing my feelings about this recent series of storms, once again the weather station informed us another series of storms will grace our landscaping. We’re lucky this time, temperatures will be warmer. No snow just a few more inches of rain.

After those years of being spoiled with warm temperatures, finally we are back to those memories of the 1990s and early 2000s. If you’re into winter sports; enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!