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San Diegans make most of snow from winter storms

Mount Laguna busy as visitors play in snow
east county snow
Posted at 5:37 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 20:37:27-05

MOUNT LAGUNA, Calif. (KGTV) - Business was brisk Tuesday at the Mount Laguna Lodge.

"It's been hectic," says the owner, Tom, who declined to use his last name. He says people have booked every room and cabin through next Tuesday.

"People were counting on the storm," Tom says. "So they booked them up. We're done renting rooms for now."

Even without rooms, hundreds of people drove up the mountain to play in the snow.

Highway Patrol required chains for cars, as plows scraped leftover ice and slush off the road.

They also shut down parts of Interstate 8 during the overnight hours because of high winds and wet, icy conditions. By mid-day, they had reopened.

"We've been looking forward to it," says San Diego Resident Heather Crawford, who brought her family for a day of fun.

"There is no place like this area. It's just 50 minutes from San Diego, absolutely beautiful, and the way it looks today is priceless."

Even in lower elevations, snow and hail brought a different look to San Diego's typically picturesque views.

Viewers covered the 10News Weather Watchers page on Facebook in photos of hail and snow from Escondido, Chula Vista, Boulevard, Penasquitos, and Pine Valley.

Neisha and James Burt brought their 3-year old daughter to the snow for the first time. They but stayed near the Interstate to play.

"We were excited," said Neisha. "She only wanted to play for 10 or 15 minutes, but it wasn't that far of a drive."

At the Mount Laguna Recreational Area in the Cleveland National Forest, people built snowmen, threw snowballs, and used surfboards, boogie boards, and sleds of all shapes and sizes to play for hours.

"For a family, it's moments you can't capture on camera," says Mario Prado. "Moments you'll probably never see again."

But the area will see snow again. Another storm is expected to roll through later this week, giving people another chance to come out and play.