MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. (AP) — An avalanche Saturday prompted the closure of a second major California ski resort in as many days in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The Mono County Sheriff’s department says three people were partially buried but unhurt by an avalanche Saturday at the Mammoth Mountain ski resort in Central California.
Resort officials said the avalanche occurred at about 10:15 a.m. while resort workers were in an area closed to the public attempting so-called avalanche mitigation, which includes purposely creating smaller slides.
The avalanche poured down the mountain and into an open run crowded with skiers and boarders. The resort then closed for the day.
CBS2’s Laurie Perez reported from the CBS2/KCAL9 newsroom. She said officials later said eight people — two guests and six workers — were partially buried. No one was seriously hurt.
A skier posted video of the avalanche on Twitter writing, “very scary.”
Perez spoke to several people via Facetime who said they were shaken up.
It was more than that for Debbie Lee who 30 minutes prior to the avalanche had dropped her kids off at ski school.
“I was really worried and I didn’t know what to do – should I run out there and get my kids? Should I wait? I was trying to find out where they were,” Lee said.
They were safe and sound.
“So, we were in line to go on the ski lift and then right when it was our turn they stopped the ski lift and said there was an avalanche,” says Alexis Lee.
That was more than Fletcher Struye said he knew.
“We took a right turn by chair 5 and had not issues but the visibility definitely was really poor,” he said, “and by the time we got to the bottom of the hill, we had reports of all the lifts starting to shut down.”
A Northern California avalanche on Friday injured two people and closed Squaw Valley ski resort. The avalanche occurred hours after the body of a missing snowboarder was found at the same resort.
Heavy storms have drenched coastal areas and dumped more than 6 feet of snow in some higher elevations.
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