SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA: Thirteen deaths have been reported since severe storms in San Bernardino County in southern California cut off its mountain villages. According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, only one of the deaths – a traffic accident – is now weather-related.
“Preliminary information on the other deaths does not indicate they are weather related, but these investigations are ongoing,” the sheriff’s department said. California recorded record snowfall from late February to early March following a series of snowstorms. Residents of mountain communities had found themselves “trapped at home or unable to get home due to several feet of snow”. In response, San Bernardino County declared a local emergency on February 27. On March 9, the sheriff’s office released additional information regarding some of the deaths.
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“Many of the deceased suffered from chronic illnesses”
While eight of the deaths are under investigation, four of the victims died in a hospital or while receiving hospice care. “Many of those who died had significant medical histories or chronic illnesses,” the office said in a statement, according to ABC News.
According to the sheriff’s office, one of the victims was a 39-year-old woman who was hit by a car on Feb. 26 in Fawnskin. A 65-year-old woman was found dead in her Wrightwood home two days later, and a 77-year-old woman was found dead in her Crestline home by her landlord on March 2. A day later, the sheriff’s office reported that a 77-year-old man was found dead at his Valley of Enchantment home during a welfare check requested by his family.
Hello from 15 feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada California ⛄️ #californiablizzard #CaliforniaSnow #CaliforniaAdventure (1/1) pic.twitter.com/bxwbV9VW3J
— Parthiban Shanmugam (@hollywoodcurry) March 3, 2023
The bureau also revealed that a 33-year-old man was discovered dead inside his Arrowbear residence on March 3. That same day, a 62-year-old man was found dead at his Big Bear City residence. Additionally, following a social check, a 42-year-old woman was found dead in her Big Bear Lake home, and a 96-year-old woman was found dead by a neighbor in her Crestline home, according to the sheriff’s office.
7.2 million cubic yards of snow removed from county highways
According to the governor’s office, workers cleared San Bernardino County highways of more than 7.2 million cubic yards of snow, or nearly 2,270 Olympic size swimming pools. “We continue to support our allied agencies who have made great strides overnight on restoring public services. Last night MPs responded to multiple well checks; residents were safe, supplied and refused the evacuation. Deputies continue to respond to calls and assist residents,” the sheriff’s department said. March 8.