H-SANTA BARBARA COUNTY

Feb 25, 2011 9:14 PM by Ariel Wesler

Locals prepare for possible snowfall

If there's any place that knows about snowfall in Santa Barbara County, it's the Cold Spring Tavern at the top of the San Marcos Pass. Back in 1999, it was transformed into a winter wonderland and again in 2001, closing the pass.

"The trucks couldn't get up here, so we had to deliver downtown cause I have some buddie that have other restaurants, and I got my truck and picked it all up and brought it up here and we scrambled like crazy," said John Locke, the Cold Spring Tavern General Manager.

Just last weekend, snow fell at Figueroa Mountain, creating good enough conditions for snowball fights and a little sledding.

If all this rain turns to snow this weekend, you can expect big crowds at the Cold Spring Tavern. The manager says the last time it snowed, about four years ago, there were lines out the door.

"Usually, it's not cold enough to be sustained, so it'll turn to rain and melt, but while the snow is on the ground, it's really interesting. Kids will come up and make snowballs and stuff," Locke said.

"It's beautiful. It's just amazing to see. We don't get snow that often," said Becky Lynn of Santa Ynez.

With snow predicted to fall in areas as low as 500 feet, many drivers are not used to the freezing conditions.

The CHP says if you hit black ice, don't panic and don't brake.

"Try and just ride it through until you can feel the car gaining traction," said CHP Officer Rob Wallace.

Officers say just be sure to give yourself extra time to get where you need to go. They say if you do have chains, make sure to carry them with you. Check the tread on your tires and slow down.

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