UPDATE 12 a.m. -- The CHP is asking people to just avoid the roads, and not travel, until the weather lets up, something of an unusual and significant request:
UPDATE 4:00 p.m. — New accidents and road hazards continue to accrue at a rate of at one every few minutes. The best place to check on this is at the CHP traffic update page.
There are several power outages in Mendocino County right now, here is a list:
From north of Fort Bragg all the way up to Rockport there are 1353 customers with out power; from east of Fort Bragg 199 customers; in Brooktrails 570 customers; in Potter Valley 363; a few other scattered place across the county record one customer missing power (but they probably know who they are). None of these include an expected time of restoration.
UPDATE, 3:50 p.m. — The storm has only been with us for a few hours and already there have been as many as two dozen accidents and road hazards, including some with major injuries. There have been many spin outs and cars going off the side of the road due to ice and snow, and generally slick roads. Please exercise caution driving. Additionally, several power lines have fallen, and roads have been blocked by debris.
Here is a screen shot of the CHP's traffic page for the Garberville area:
UPDATE 3:41 p.m. — The situation is moving fast on the roads of Northern California. Sherwood Rd. at the intersection with Main St. in Willits has been re-opened according to the Willits Police Department's Facebook page. The road had been closed to deal with various spin outs and accidents, and protect the safety of emergency personnel.
UPDATE 3:27 p.m. — Sherwood Rd. In Brooktrails is closed due to multiple spin outs and minor crashes, traffic at Main St. in Willits is backed up all the way through town. There are now a number of power outages reported north of Longvale, on Branscomb Road west of Laytonville, and in the Cleone area, but according to PG&E each outage is less than 50 customers, PG&E has not provided any estimates as to the expected time of restoration.
There is also a car off the road on State Route 162 (Covelo Road), between the rest stop and Grist Creek Aggregates, and another traffic collision reported near the town of Covelo near the Cal Fire station, also on SR 162.
UPDATE 3:00 p.m. — Snow and wintry weather has continued across the county over the course of the day, and with it the accidents have continued. As of 3 p.m. there are at least two places in the county where collisions have impacted power poles, or lines are down across the roadway, including on SR 1 south of Newport, and on East Road in Potter Valley and Sherwood Road in Brooktrails, where in both cases a vehicle collided with a power pole. PG&E has been notified in both cases and there are no current outages reported in Mendocino County.
There are also a number of accidents on Sherwood Road in Brooktrails, where snow has been accumulating for several hours, and vehicles are going off the road or stopping to put on chains, causing accidents. Traffic on portions of Sherwood Road may be temporarily impacted as tow trucks and first responders try to assist vehicles facing inclement weather.
There is also another possible accidents reported along Highway 101 north of Laytonville, and a number of accidents in Lake County.
Please take caution on the roads and do not travel unless necessary, or if planning for mountain travel, be prepared for road closures or for chains to be required. We'll continue to update throughout the day.
MENDOCINO Co., 11/26/19 — Snow has arrived in northern Mendocino County, with ice and snow on the road reported in Laytonville, Brooktrails, Willits, the Ridgewood Grade, and State Route 20 west. Like clockwork a number of traffic collisions have been reported on major roadways in the last hour, starting immediately after it began to rain and snow.
As of 11 a.m., California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers were responding to single car collisions leaving a car in the middle of the roadway, or reports of vehicles going off the road, on Sherwood Road in Brooktrails, on U.S. Route 101 near Ridgewood Ranch, and a two car collision on SR-1 just south of the Brewery Gulch Inn. CHP officers and local fire departments or medics are responding — thankfully no injuries have been reported so far.
We encourage everyone hitting the road for holiday travels to take caution — the storm will be increasing in severity over the next 24 hours around the state, with snow, hail, heavy rain, high wind, and potential flooding forecasted. The roads have been cleared fairly quickly, but we'll keep you updated as the day goes on. CHP will also be holding a "maximum enforcement period" beginning at 6 p.m. this evening lasting through Sunday.
Be careful everyone.