2012-03-15 / Front Page

Snowstorm affects wide swath of county

Significant snow remained at the 2,900-ft. level at Highway 140 near Midpines on Monday.Significant snow remained at the 2,900-ft. level at Highway 140 near Midpines on Monday.

 

Rescue crews waded through thigh-deep snow on Sunday evening to reach a 94-year-old man who had fallen and hit his head in a remote Chowchilla Mountain home. 

The man lives about three miles past the end of the pavement on Chowchilla Mountain Road. Mariposa County's search-and-rescue team pushed through about two feet of snow to reach the elderly resident, who required immediate medical treatment for a head injury.

The county's department of public works used a snow plow and a road grader to clear access to the home and an ambulance ultimately reached the man. He was treated and flown to an emergency room using a medical evacuation helicopter, Mariposa County Fire Department Chief Jim Wilson said.

"It was a great team effort," Wilson said of the successful rescue.

The storm brought a surprising amount of snow to low elevations, with several inches in town and more than half a foot in the Midpines area. Lushmeadows received a total of close to 11 inches. 

Sporadic power outages affected the county on Sunday. The storm's early phase featured a significant amount of freezing rain, which weighed down limbs and brought down many oak trees, fire chief Wilson said.

Few other serious incidents were reported. Crews reported one traffic collision near the intersection of Triangle and Darrah roads. In the Jerseydale area, personnel assisted the driver of a pickup truck that slid off a forest service road.

On Monday, the National Weather Service was calling for building high pressure and warmer temperatures before another possible weather system passes over the county next weekend.

--Erik Skindrud/GAZETTE REPORTER

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