LAKE ELSINORE (CBSLA) — Ortega Highway was closed again Friday, this time for…black ice?
Rare snowfall and freezing temperatures delighted a wide swath of usually-warm Southern California Thursday, but continues to affect the region’s roads into Friday.
State Route 74, better known as the Ortega Highway, was closed most of Friday morning due to black ice, a day after being shut down so snow could be cleared, and just weeks after being hampered by mud and debris flows in the storms that followed the Holy Fire that burned across Orange County and the Inland Empire.
There were several spin-outs on the road, and when it was finally shut down, several drivers decided to wait out the closure instead of taking an alternate route because it could take them two-and-a-half hours out of their way.
Ortega Highway reopened at about 9:15 a.m.
Several other roads in the Inland Empire are also closed, including the 18 on the west side of Big Bear. The 330 is open but drivers are required to have chains.
Bear Valley School District will also be closed again for a snow day, and will resume a normal schedule on Monday.
Further north, Woodland Hills in the San Fernando Valley woke up to temperatures in the 30s, which stayed steady even as the sun was up at about 6:30 a.m.
Friday’s freezing cold was unfortunately not accompanied by the snow that surprised and delighted Southern Californians from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena – where the open-air stadium’s seats were spotted being sprinkled with snow — to the beaches of Malibu on Thursday.
Arlen Krause was captivated by the sight of snow falling right outside the Malibu Surf Shack, where he works, off Pacific Coast Highway and the Pacific Ocean.
“It’s just like, ‘wait, why is the rain white?’ And I looked at one of the car hoods, and sure enough there was snow sticking to it,” Krause said. “It’s just about 30 seconds, but it was crazy. I’ve never seen that here, ever.”