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Idyllwild and nearby mountain communities seek to recover after damaging snowstorm

This week's snowstorm severely impacted Idyllwild and the surrounding mountain communities. The National Weather Service said that just over six inches of fresh snow fell in the area, following similar snowfall amounts recorded last week.      

At least one local store had its roof collapse due to snow on Wednesday. The business owner told News Channel 3 that it's likely a total loss.

We also talked with the owner of Rustic Theater which is right next door who saw the roof collapse. She says this is the worst snow storm she's ever seen here.     

She says she panicked when she saw the collapse and immediately called the other owner to see if they were ok.

"Everything was fine, taken care of. That's the one amazing thing about Idyllwild. Everybody, honestly w rally around one another so quickly. It really is fantastic to live here. That's one amazing thing is that everybody takes care of one another."," said Gail Sutherland, co-owner of the Rustic Theatre and Entertainment Center.

Idyllwild Fire Department Chief Mark Lamont said this is the worst he’s seen in 20 years. The department has experienced double the amount of calls recently.

Not too far from that area, several mobile homes were damaged when a tree collapsed. Luckily no one was hurt there, but the fire chief told me they had to help some people find shelter since their home was a total loss.

"The snow brings a lot of different incident types, mostly weight-related and what I mean by that is, trees that have been stressed through the drought can't manage the weight of the snowfall. So we have a lot of downed trees that we've been working, a lot of downed power lines, a lot of downed power poles, and trees actually, that have come down and impacted structures," Lamont said.

Over at the Living Free Animal Sanctuary, the roof of one of the horse shelters and a shed collapsed. They’ve been asking the community for donations to repair what was damaged.

With so many incident calls, Lamont said mountain residents and visitors should use an abundance of caution.

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.

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