Residents remain stranded or desperate to get to Lake Arrowhead during state of emergency

The San Bernardino County Mountain communities are still in a state of emergency following a powerful storm that dumped feet of snow.

Thousands of residents are stranded, while others are desperate to get home to check on their belongings, pets and loved ones.

Brian Cannon was one of dozens upon dozens of Lake Arrowhead residents waiting to be escorted by Caltrans to check on his home. The escort option applied to eligible residents looking to get essentials that included fuel, groceries and medicine.

"It has just been a whole lot of waiting, sitting here, waiting for them to open the gates," said Cannon. "The maintenance crew was about 30 to 40 minutes late getting to us, and they've only been able to take about two rounds so far, so about 40 cars have gone up and obviously there's a lot more."

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Cannon hasn't been able to check on his home in days due to the closures, and wants to make sure it's okay, along with his neighbors.  

"I have a beautiful home. It's got a huge patio and I just want to make sure it doesn't break away from the house and I don't have broken pipes or frozen pipes," Cannon said. "I'd like to see how my neighbors are doing and make sure that everyone on the block is okay. I have one neighbor, he's older, and he's got some health issues, and I'd like to make sure he's okay too."

However, once Cannon is escorted, he will still have a journey ahead of him.

"My road is not plowed. It's up at least up to the top of the knee to walk through according to my camera, so I'll probably get into town and then have to hike probably about an hour and half to my house just to see it," said Cannon.

There are also people stuck in Lake Arrowhead, unable to leave, like Rebecca Norton.

"If you want hell, this is definitely what it's like. It's not hot, but it's a cold, cold place," said Norton.

Norton said her street is unplowed, and she's without power or a generator.

"We lost power. The berms are higher than you can imagine, and it's ridiculous out here. Everything is by candlelight now," she said.

The state of emergency declaration asks state and federal agencies for help to clear snow from mountain highways and neighborhood streets.

Caltrans escorted several cars to Lake Arrowhead Tuesday from 5-9 p.m.