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Home / post offices reopen

Snow impacts SB National Forest, post offices, state tax deadline

San Bernardino National Forest rangers on Thursday advised the public that some parts of the forest will be inaccessible for several weeks as personnel work to clear roads and make infrastructure repairs necessary following the recent winter storms that walloped the region with snow, heavy rain and high winds.

“We are working to address public safety and to assess winter storm damages.” Forest Supervisor Danelle Harrison said. “Due to limited access and deteriorating conditions, it will be several weeks before the San Bernardino National Forest is fully operational.”

Parts of the 660,000-acre forest have been heavily impacted by snowstorms that swept through last week and this week.

Portions of the forest already had snow packs in excess of four feet when fresh snow fell Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

In the Idyllwild-Pine Cove area, more than six inches of new snow fell Wednesday.

“With communities dealing with lack of power and lack of resources, visiting these mountain communities puts additional pressure on already scarce resources,” Harrison said. “Unsafe road conditions due to snow and ice, as well as warming temps, have created hazardous driving conditions, to the point where many roads remain closed.

“If you have to travel to these communities, please be prepared with self-sustaining resources. If you find yourself stuck, there could be delays in receiving help.”

Officials encouraged forest visitors to get information online from Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol and other relevant agencies to confirm conditions before attempting travel at higher elevations.

Postal locations reopen

Post offices in Idyllwild and Mountain Center shut down because of heavy snowfall reopened for business Thursday.

The Idyllwild Post Office at 54391 Village Center and the Mountain Center Post Office at 29470 Highway 243 were closed Wednesday afternoon when a winter storm rolled across the San Bernardino National Forest, generating blizzard-like conditions.

According to the U.S. Postal Service, officials decided to close both offices due to the winter hazards.

The National Weather Service said that just over six inches of fresh snow fell in the area, following similar snowfall amounts recorded last week.

The roof on a business in Idyllwild partially collapsed, and a pine tree toppled onto several mobile homes just west of Highway 243, during the snowstorm. No injuries were reported in either instance.

The Idyllwild Snow Cam, mounted on a business in Idyllwild Town Center, elevation 5,479 feet, showed thick snow drifts but roadways open in the downtown space Thursday.

State tax deadline extended

California is extending the state tax filing and payment due dates to Oct. 16 for Californians impacted by this winter’s storms, aligning with the IRS, which previously extended the federal tax filing deadline to Oct. 16 for the same reason.

“As communities across the state continue recovering from the damage caused by the winter storms, California is working swiftly to help recovering Californians get back on their feet,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said. “The state is aligning with the Biden Administration and extending the tax filing deadline in addition to the tax relief announced earlier this year.”

Last month, Newsom announced that those impacted by winter storms could claim a deduction for disaster loss, and extended filing and payment deadlines for individuals and businesses in California to May 15.

The tax relief applies to nearly all of the state’s 58 counties, including Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. Imperial County in the southeastern part of the state is not included.

The relief applies to deadlines falling on or after Jan. 8, 2023, and before Oct. 16, 2023, including the 2022 individual income tax returns that would have been due on April 18 and the quarterly estimated tax payments that would have been due on Jan. 17 and April 18, 2023.

California announced the extension Thursday. The IRS announced its extension in January.

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