By Bobby Block
Signal Multimedia Journalist
Snowfall reported on Christmas night has prompted the California Highway Patrol to shut down traffic going through the Grapevine on Interstate 5, according to CHP officer Michael Gubelli.
The closure was initially ordered around 6 p.m Wednesday evening and implemented once snow began to fall around 10 p.m. said CHP spokesman Josh Greengard.
Officers, following their regular procedure, closed lanes of Interstate 5 at the south end of the Grapevine in Castaic near the Lake Hughes Road exit. “We always shut it down there regardless of snow level,” said Gubelli. “We want to make sure people can easily turn around.”
Once the closure went into effect, CHP officers moved in to help drivers out of snowed-in areas.
“[Our] priority will be to assist vehicles already on the pass to the other side, followed by clearing the road,” said a CHP statement.
CHP officials do not yet have an official estimate for when they will be able to reopen the freeway to traffic. “We have an unknown duration, it depends on the weather,” said Greengard.
“This is not something we like to do, but we do it for the safety of the public.”