180 motorists rescued in Southern California snow

180 motorists rescued in Southern California snow (USA Today, Dec 31, 2014):

Firefighters in Southern California completed the rescue early Wednesday of more than 180 motorists who were stranded when a winter storm brought snow to the San Bernardino Mountains.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department said in a news release that 136 people were rescued on State Highway 138 near the communities of Crestline and Mount Baldy, about 50 miles from Los Angeles.

The drivers became stuck after more than a foot of snow fell in the area, which was also swept by high winds. The rescues came as an arctic air mass mangled transportation routes and left thousands without power in the state.

Firefighters used SnowCats to navigate the steep, snowy switchbacks of Highway 138 to rescue about 50 motorists and transport them to First Baptist Church in Crestline. Red Cross workers there provided aid.

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