About 180 people, including some who spent more than 12 hours stuck in deep snow in the San Bernardino Mountains, were rescued Saturday as the latest in a series of storms struck California. The storms quickly moved eastward, closing all three major highways over the Sierra Nevada.
Up to 10 feet of snow was expected over the weekend at the Sierra's higher elevations, according to the National Weather Service.
Snow piled up 3 to 4 feet deep along a 15-mile stretch of highway between the Snow Valley ski resort and Big Bear dam, said Tracey Martinez, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
"People were panicking and calling 911 on their cell phones," Martinez said. "It's going to take us a while to get all the folks out of there."
No injuries were reported as rescue crews used tracked vehicles to pick up the snowbound motorists in the mountains about 90 miles east of Los Angeles.
In the East, heavy rain and snow that fell earlier in the week caused flooding along the Ohio River that was chasing some residents out of their homes in communities in West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Meteorologists predicted the river would reach its highest level in eight years at Louisville, Ky. The stormy weather had caused widespread outages in parts of Ohio, and utilities said about 100,000 homes and businesses remained without electricity Saturday.
In north-central Indiana, some 100,000 homes and businesses remained without power Saturday, three days after an ice storm.
U.S. nuclear submarine runs aground near Guam
HONOLULU _ A nuclear submarine ran aground Saturday about 350 miles south of Guam, injuring about 20 sailors and sustaining severe damage, the Navy said.
There were no reports of damage to the USS San Francisco's reactor plant, which was operating normally, the Navy said. One of the sailors suffered critical injuries. The sub has a crew of 137, officials said.
The 360-foot submarine was headed back to its home port in Guam, and the incident was under investigation, said Jon Yoshishige, a spokesman for the Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor.
He said there was no information yet on what the submarine struck. Navy and Coast Guard aircraft from Guam were sent to monitor the submarine and assist if needed, the Navy said.
Located west of the international date line, Guam is a U.S. territory about 3,700 miles southwest of Hawaii.
Former surgeon general dies at 72 in Florida
BOYNTON BEACH _ Dr. S. Paul Ehrlich Jr., who served as acting surgeon general for four years under Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter and lobbied against cigarette smoking, died Thursday (Jan. 6) in Delray Beach. He was 72.
While in office, Dr. Ehrlich developed a hotline to communicate with Iron Curtain countries at a time of cold war isolationism and fought attempts to eliminate the nation's most recognized public health post.
"He did more than anyone I've ever known for American health," said Dr. C. Everett Koop, surgeon general under President Reagan. "The role of a man like Paul Ehrlich is not to make big discoveries or to move mountains. . . . It is to provide the steady, experienced leadership for the public health in this country."
At 41, Dr. Ehrlich was director of the Office of International Health when he took over as surgeon general in 1973 after training as an epidemiologist. He retired after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1981.
Also . . .
BUSH INAUGURATION: The Presidential Inaugural Committee raised more than $4.5-million last week, increasing the total amount of donations to $18-million, or about half of the $35-million to $40-million it plans to raise to finance three days of events.