Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | February 21, 2023

Have you seen the forecast? 3 to 5 FEET of snow??

Have you seen the forecast? It keeps changing, but teasing us with a lot of snow! You might want to total up the inches predicted now. Wow! At this moment I counted between 3 to 5 feet predicted! Click for a link to Weather Underground, 5th line down and add up the snow flakes. Or NOAA shows even more with totals by the hour.

About every decade, we get a ‘Miracle Snow’. If this prediction is close, you’ll want to be ready.

Here are some tips for residents:

Get your grub in, be prepared for power outages and maybe even a fun game night.

The last couple times we had this much snow, Crestline quickly became a one lane road. Even two feet of snow is a lot for our County Road crew to find a place to put that snow.

Do you have a screen door? I remember our last big snow when a neighbor called. The snow was a good three feet and she couldn’t get out her front door to bring in more firewood. I grabbed some firewood. On my way over, I remembered her laundry room door opened in. So I went to the side of her cabin and shuttled the wood in through that laundry room. So, you might want to prop your screen doors open for other options. Her wood was tarped but so much snow on top. Bring in a LOT of wood for this storm.

Here are a few more Resident Tips:

March of 2006 brought over three feet in one storm. High winds resulted in a lot of tree damage. Several of those broken branches took out power lines one evening, then the next morning or phone lines went dead. One of the cell towers was apparently out also.  New Years 2015 we had 19 inches.

For some, it was a few days of adventure, but for those who relied on electricity, were low on propane, ran out of firewood, got their vehicles very snowed in, found themselves melting snow for water, or had their pipes freeze and break, it was a little taxing. Here are a few suggestions to make it a lot more fun during snow and power outages:

WINTERIZE It is very important to have your cabin or home ready for winter to avoid freezing pipes.  If you are part-time, most folks turn off their water, drain their pipes, leave valves open and then put antifreeze in each sink drain, toilet and toilet tank. I remember walking into a cabin and seeing the frozen toilet on the floor in three pieces.

THUNDERSTORMS IN THE FORECAST?  Best to unplug all appliances including computers, TV’s, refrigerators (12 hours on, 12 hours off) and anything else at risk of frying in a thunderstorm.  Neighbors have lost all of the above leaving them plugged in. 

– You’ll want to make sure you are all set with dry wood that is easy to access. Wish I had options for firewood delivery or pick up. but I don’t. If you find a good option, please pass it on. TIP: Be sure to have your dry wood where you can access it easily with a couple feet of snow on the ground…

PROPANE  Make sure your propane tank is adequate or have some extra tanks as back-up.

 When we may have the slightest chance of a snow, some people have found it wise to back in their vehicle, facing on a public road that is plowed (be sure to not block the side roads). Put your wipers out so they don’t freeze. Keep a shovel in the trunk berm, you can dig out and take off. If it is a dry snow, a broom works great to clear your car.

NEED TO GET OUT TO GO TO WORK? If we really get this much snow, you might consider staying off the mountain until the storm has passed.

WATCH WHERE YOU PARK In addition to parking out on a public road, it is wise to NOT park under oak trees especially.  Heavy, wet snow or ice storms bring down branches and trees that have been known to turn favorite vehicles into pancakes.   

SNOW PLOW BLADES  Several different companies sell snowplow blades that attach to 4 wheel drive vehicles. These could be a great investment for many people during these times when we do get more than the average snow. Go for it! We could sure use more folks up here with their own blades.

GENERATORS   When the power goes out, it nice to be able to have a generator to turn on.

LINES DOWN? Branches across trees? If you know of any other areas where lines or poles aren’t looking like they should, be sure to call or report them – best not to assume that just because some emergency crews were working there clearing branches or trees, the utility companies were contacted. Easy to do on line or call: AT&T or dial 611 SDG&E 1-800-611-SDGE (7343)

PHONE SERVICE OUTAGE  Don’t want to miss calls when phone services goes out occasionally? If you have an AT&T land line you might add “The Message Center”. Your calls are stored on AT&T’s system, you aren’t dependent on power to operate an answering machine, and you can check messages from any phone. I also have “Call Forwarding” to send my calls to my cell or office.  It’s been a life-saver during these big storms.

If the Road is closed to Residents Only, you must have proper ID. In addition to your Palomar address on a driver’s license, weekenders and property owners can show a copy of a tax or electrical bill. You might just keep a copy in the glove compartment of all your vehicles. Also, on snow weekends there is usually a CHP ‘Chain Check’. Sometimes residents in a 4 wheel drive are able to pass without putting chains on but you need to show that you have them.  Click for a great source for chains.

COFFEE, HOT CHOCOLATE or TEA? For those of you out and about, StarStrucks, our free coffee counter is open 24/7.

In Gordon Stewart’s Book, ‘San Diego Back Country 1901’, he writes;   
“Today we would not choose to live as we did; without plumbing and electricity; but a spell without them is worth much. It makes us appreciate what we have”. 
He has a delightful few pages about life on Palomar a hundred plus years ago.  It might be a nice, relaxing option in front of your fireplace. Hope you enjoy every minute! Our SoCal sun will be out again before you know it!

Questions?  Glad to get them answered!

Bonnie Phelps, Realtor ready for Snow fun!



  1. You gave out a lot of information Bonnie, thank you!!!

  2. Great advise! Of course, you know I am in San Diego

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