San Diego

Chains Required on Reopened Sunrise Highway

Two main routes heading in and out of Julian reopened Monday after an overnight closure due to a winter storm that dumped several inches of snow in San Diego's mountains.

California Highway Patrol on Sunday night closed a stretch of State Route 79 and Sunrise Highway as several cars became stuck in snow along the popular highways. Conditions were only expected to worsen through the night.

The roads were still closed Monday morning but by 10 a.m., CHP said SR-79 was reopened from I-8 to SR-78, though chains were still mandatory.

Though previously unrestricted, vehicles on Sunrise Highway were required to have chains again, authorities announced at around 4:50 p.m.

Andrew Walczewski was driving in the area with his wife and had to stop and put chains on his car.

"Having fun? Oh no. Not at all. Not yet," he told NBC 7.

CHP officers were posted along the highways to make sure motorists have chains before heading up into the snow.

"We're really trying to get everybody set up down here before they get up higher in elevation and get stuck or slide out or cause a collision. Our goal is obviously the safety of the public," said CHP Officer Jeff Christy.

While CHP closed the access roads, the San Diego Sheriff's Department Julian substation asked people to stay away from the small mountain town.

"Due to the snowfall in Julian and the large crowds already in town, @SDSOJulian is asking the public to stay away for their own safety," a tweet from the office read. 

For those that do head to the mountains to see the snow, CHP reminds drivers of the follow "snow etiquette." Tips can be found here. 

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