Winter storms bring unprecedented damage, heartache and sorrow

Mar 22, 2023 | Communities

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Senior Writer

There’s no doubt about it: This winter’s series of so-called atmospheric river storms has resulted in unprecedented damage to mountain area buildings. Goodwin and Son’s Market, Akasha Healing Center, Linder’s Tires and Lake Gregory Yacht Club, all of which are located in Crestline, suffered collapsed roofs from heavy snow loads. Many other homes and businesses were damaged by fallen trees and limbs, flood damage from frozen and burst water pipes and from rapidly melting snow.

One such flood victim, Aaron Creighton, the owner-publisher of The Alpine Mountaineer, says he had an atmospheric river of sorts running through the first floor of his Cedarpines Park home last on March 15. “I had about two inches of water on the floor, some of which I was able to suck up with my shop vacuum. It took about 24 hours for the plumber to get here because so many other people were having the same problem. According to the plumber, the problem was caused by a burst water pipe.”

Creighton said he was able to contact a carpet cleaning company in Running Springs and they brought out a dehumidifier to dry out the carpet but it ultimately may have to be replaced.

According to Crestline plumber Gilbert Acuna, so much water has been absorbed by the ground that he has seen springs springing up beneath people’s homes and businesses.

The Los Angeles Times reported on March 17 that recent rainstorms have melted much of the snow in the San Bernardino Mountains, bringing relief to some residents that had been stranded in their homes for several weeks and also triggered rockslides on mountain highways.

The storms also brought heartache and sorrow to the mountains, with 12 or more persons dying during last month’s blizzard. Maggie Fosson told The Alpine Mountaineer on March 18 that her husband’s aunt, Dolly Avenatti of Crestline, definitely did not die of natural causes, as asserted by county officials. Avenatti, who was 93 years old, lived alone in a home that had all electric appliances and, when the power was out for six days, she had no way to heat her home. According to Fosson, Dolly, who had no medical issues other than being hard of hearing and some memory loss, likely froze to death.


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Debris left by the roof collapse of Goodwin & Son’s Market was still in the cleanup stage last weekend. (Photos by Douglas W. Motley)

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Crestline’s Remember Me Antiques, partially destroyed in an October 2021 blaze, is not only an eyesore but also a danger to the public following the recent rain and snowstorms.

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This previously damaged home on Fern Drive in Crestline was further damaged by the recent storms.

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Akasha Healing Center on Crestline’s Lake Drive is another snowstorm victim.

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The historic Dewey cabin in Valley of Enchantment was destroyed in the most recent snowstorm. (Contributed photo)


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