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Dangerous Conditions Close Inland Empire Mountain Passes

CAJON PASS (CBSLA) — A winter storm slated to hit Southern California in the early morning hours of Wednesday is already creating a big problem for drivers — especially in the mountain passes.

Caltrans has closed State Route 2, from Grassy Hollow to Islip Saddle, until further notice due to dangerous conditions.

"We want people to be ready, and not drive during the busiest hours during bad weather if possible," Terri Kasinga, a Caltrans spokesperson, said.

But on Tuesday night, drivers who tried to avoid the heavy Wednesday traffic found the 15 Freeway in the Cajon Pass slow going — two nights ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

But for many drivers, it was better than the alternative of driving through Wednesday's rain and snow.

"It's gonna be pretty bad," Armando Cortez, a driver, said. "Especially with the weather conditions, it's gonna be pretty chaotic out there."

Cortez said he was worried about making it to work in Glen Helen if conditions got too dangerous heading down hill from the high desert.

"I don't know how we're gonna make it," he said.

Brandon Famighetti and his friend have been on the road for 16 hours, driving from Montana to Alta Loma to surprise his mom for Thanksgiving.

"I'm a little tired," he said.

But Caltrans said it was prepared. Crews spent the day spraying an anti-icing agent on the road.

"It's going to help keep the roadway from icing over to reduce accidents," Tim Richards, of Caltrans District 8, said.

Caltrans warned drivers that roads could close without warning, and that they should prepare for rain on Wednesday and bring chains for snow Thursday in the mountain areas. But the biggest advice Caltrans had for drivers was to slow down in bad weather.

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