SHAVER LAKE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Highway 168 reopened Wednesday morning, mainly for residents, homeowners, and ski resort visitors. However, the highway is cleared for everyone all the way up to China Peak.
China Peak also reopened Wednesday and will remain open as long as it can.
How much longer will highway 168 stay open with another storm on the horizon? According to Caltrans, as long as the highway is safe to drive on.
Business owners are taking this break in the storm to clear as much snow from their roofs and businesses as they can.
“I’ve been here 8 years, and I’ve seen ups and downs and I’m here just because I have work to do, I have to shovel a lot, to keep my driveway clean. Otherwise even I don’t want to be here,” said Jay Singh.
We met Singh while he was shoveling as much snow as he could, to clear the doors around his businesses. He was trying to get ahead of a storm expected to melt most of the snow at Shaver Lake.
“I am worried, but what I’m saying is I’ll try to clean it, not this side but the other side. I’ll need to go on the roof and try and remove as much as I can,” said Singh.
Drone footage from Monday shows the snow had completely blanketed his parking lot, and there was no way to get to his doors.
Singh is warning anyone traveling up the 168, that they should know what they’re driving into.
“People that are coming here to enjoy the snow you know. If they come in there are not a lot of parking lots cleaned up. So, there won’t be much space, so they’ll be blocking all the roads and everything,” he said.
“The ability to get up there and make sure that their property is doing well. Or even a supply run for some who live in the area that is bracing for this next storm to come in,” said Elizabeth Yelton, a Public Information Officer with Caltrans District 6.
According to Caltrans, snow removal crews made it possible to open the roadway.
“The reason why we did open 168 is it comes down to the fact that the lanes are now wide enough, the roads are to a point of safety where we don’t have a purpose to keep them closed,” she said.
With more rain and snow on the way, we asked Yelton what it would take for the highway to have a hard closure again.
“If it’s not going to get people where they need to go in a safe manner, then that is the decision that will be made to close down that roadway until it is prepared and ready to go” she responded.
We drove up halfway to China Peak and some of the snow parks, unfortunately, were still closed to traffic.