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County prepares for the storms ahead

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With more rain on the way this weekend and even more next week, County Public Works crews have been busy in the mountains and elsewhere in the county cleaning up from this morning’s rain and preparing flood control facilities for the storms ahead both in the mountains and in recently burned areas.

After having cleared a path through all 500-plus miles of County roads in a little over a week, crews this week have widened nearly every one of those roads to two lanes while also ensuring 150 high-priority culverts were clear. That was not an easy task considering many were hidden by massive snow berms. Crews relied on GIS technology and old photos to find many of the culverts. Public Works teams also cleared out debris basins and made sure channels and other waterways were clear.

County Public Works coordinated with the Rim of the World School District to improve access to bus stops and clear bus routes so mountain schools can return to normal operations. Crews also plowed Rim of the World High School parking lots for students and staff when they return.

Public Works upgraded its GIS map to a Snow Road Widened Status Dashboard so the public can get daily updates on which County and non-County maintained roads have been widened. Also included in the dashboard are resources to find food and supply distribution centers, shelter, and more.

See all of today’s highlights in our daily storm recovery video.

Residents are urged to be prepared and make sure they are signed up for emergency notifications and also download the SB Ready app. Residents can do both on the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District website.

Mountain residents urged to report property damage

Damage estimates are the strongest tool local communities have in convincing state and federal agencies to provide relief. That’s why the County is encouraging mountain property owners to use an online property damage reporting tool developed by the County Fire District to report moderate to major damage to residential and commercial buildings caused by the winter storms.

The information reported by property owners will be part of the total damage estimate provided to the state, which will then decide whether to seek aid from federal agencies such as FEMA.

Property owners seeking to repair or rebuild their storm-damaged structures are eligible for to have up to $500 in County planning and building fees waived thanks to action taken yesterday by the Board of Supervisors. Those looking to rebuild should consult the County’s new Mountain Region Snowstorm Rebuild Questions & Answers document.

Funding approved by the Board is also making is possible for the County to reimburse residents up to $500 toward the cost of removing snow from their property.

A complete list of resources and links is available on the County Snow Information website.

Teamwork frees snowbound mountain residents

Twin Peaks resident Michelle Munoz expresses her gratitude to the members of the Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program who worked diligently to remove the snow that had piled up around her home.

Wrightwood residents reach out to recognize unsung heroes

As the community of Wrightwood recovers from the recent blizzard, it’s important to recognize all of the unsung heroes who went above and beyond to help their neighbors in need.

Laurey Aydelotte, a Wrightwood resident since 2004, reached out to the office of their First District County Supervisor, Col. Paul Cook (Ret.), to praise these community members.

“Friends with snow removal equipment quickly stepped up to help some of our trapped residents,” said Aydelotte. “This included Sadie Albers, John Kearn and Jeremy Norman of Hesperia. Residents were helping each other get food, pick up medicine from various pharmacies, and other essentials.”

Renee Olson, a lifelong Wrightwood resident, echoed Aydelotte’s comments. She and friends Dionne Burns and Julie LaFever enlisted the help of local teens to assist seniors who were unable to clear the large amounts of snow. “There were so many great kids who helped shovel seniors’ driveways throughout the neighborhood: Cade LaFever, Alexia and Sienna Burns, Cameron Coombs, Cash Littlefield, Ethan Olson, and Devun Moore,” said Olson. “I’d also like to recognize Owen Todhunter and the Serrano High School Explorers, who dug out several driveways. It was definitely a group effort!”

Wendi Swanson, another longtime Wrightwood resident, agreed. “Everyone worked together to help seniors on our street, clearing their berm or at least a foot path in case of emergency,” she said. “I know neighbors helped me and I helped them. It was true Wrightwood cohesion.”

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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By Press Release

Newmark Negotiates 864,000-Square-Foot Industrial Lease Renewal in Perris, California

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Newmark announces the 864,000-square-foot industrial lease renewal with NFI Industries, a supply chain solutions provider, at Perris Distribution Center in Perris, California.

Newmark Executive Managing Directors Mark Kegans, SIOR and Ron Washle, SIOR and Managing Director Dean Washle represented the landlord, Ares Management, formerly known as Black Creek Group.

“Our team was pleased to represent Ares Management in such this substantial lease renewal,” said Kegans. “Perris Distribution Center is in a prime location for logistics and distribution, as evidenced by the location’s top-tier tenant roster.”

Located at 657 Nance Street in Perris, Perris Distribution Center is a two-story cross-dock facility expandable to ±1,137,000 square feet. Building features include approximately 7,000 square feet of office space, minimum 36’ warehouse clearance height, ESFR sprinkler system, LED warehouse lighting, 112 dock-high loading doors and concrete truck courts. The ±43-acre parcel offers 298 auto parking spaces and 224 trailer parking spaces, including an auxiliary parcel to accommodate up to 154 trailer parking spaces or approximately 530 auto parking spaces.

Perris Distribution Center is proximate to Freeway 215, with on and off-ramps at Harley Knox Boulevard to the north and Ramona Expressway to the south. Neighboring industrial tenants include The Home Depot, General Mills, Ross, iHerb, Amazon and Wayfair, to name a few.

The national industrial market has remained resilient despite recent economic and geopolitical headwinds, according to Newmark Research. For the fifth consecutive quarter, national industrial absorption topped 100 million square feet. The persistent imbalance between demand and new deliveries has pushed vacancy down to 3.7%, likely a cyclical low. Demand remains strong for industrial space with absorption continuing to outpace deliveries.

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Rebuilt Second Street Bridge Opens in Downtown San Bernardino

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The City of San Bernardino celebrated the reopening of Second Street between Arrowhead Avenue and Mountain View Avenue on Tuesday, March 14, restoring vehicle and pedestrian traffic to a key downtown corridor. The road had been closed for three years for the demolition and reconstruction of the Second Street Bridge, which passes over Warm Creek and was found to have structural issues in 2020.

At a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the bridge, Mayor Helen Tran stated, “I share in the excitement of our residents and businesses in the reopening of Second Street. It is a small bridge, but a big connection point.”

When Caltrans found structural issues with the bridge in March of 2020 and ordered it closed to vehicles and pedestrians, plans were already underway to replace it. In February of 2021, the City awarded a contract to Ortiz Construction to construct a new bridge. Construction began in June of 2021.

“I would often get asked by constituents when Second Street would re-open,” said Council Member Damon Alexander. “We are pleased that today is that day.”

Completion of the project was delayed by over a year due to supply chain issues experienced by both the contractor and Southern California Edison, who needed to construct new electricity connections through the new bridge to downtown San Bernardino.

“This project was the poster child for the supply chain issues experienced at the height of the pandemic,” said San Bernardino Public Works Director Daniel Hernandez. “I’d like to thank our contractors and utility partners for their flexibility and patience with each other.”

The project was further delayed last summer to ensure the existing electricity connection remained in place to meet peak load demand downtown.

The cost to replace the four-lane bridge was just over $3.2 million. Approximately $2.6 million was funded by the City, and $600,000 was funded for project design, inspections, and contingencies by Caltrans.


Note: The individuals in the attached ribbon cutting photo from left to right are Public Works Director Daniel Hernandez, Council Member Damon Alexander, Mayor Helen Tran, Council Member Ben Reynoso, and Assistant City Manager Edelia Eveland.

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Board of Supervisors directs relief for owners of blizzard – damaged property

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Mountain property owners looking to rebuild or repair damage wrought by the recent record-setting blizzard are now entitled to some major relief, thanks to action taken today by the Board of Supervisors.

The Board unanimously voted to waive up to $5,000 in County plan review and permit fees for property owners looking to repair or rebuild structures damaged or destroyed by the historic snowfall. The waiver is available for each structure and will be funded by $500,000 of the $10 million Emergency Response Fund the Board created on March 1 to address the impacts of the storm.

“This waiver is important for the recovery of our mountain communities. As our businesses and residents rebuild, we need to ensure that we eliminate as many additional burdens as possible,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Dawn Rowe, whose Third District bore the brunt of the blizzard.

“I’ll keep pushing for additional resources for our mountain residents, who continue to impress me with their courage and resilience,” Rowe said.

The county’s mountain communities received an unprecedented amount of snowfall in a series of storms that began on Feb. 22. Homes, businesses and other structures were damaged by the weight of the snow, which exceeded what they were designed to withstand.

With many assessments still to be made, County inspectors have red-tagged 29 structures as too damaged to be inhabited and yellow-tagged 27 damaged structures, allowing for limited occupancy. These numbers are expected to grow as assessments continue.

The County’s Land Use Services Department has created a Storm Response Team focused on supporting the public in the repair and rebuilding of their structures damaged by the extreme snowstorm event. The team will ensure that the plan review and permit process for impacted residents will be expedited to the fullest extent possible.

The rebuilding waivers approved today are the latest in a series of County relief efforts for the mountain communities. The County is also operating:

  • Five Commodity Points of Distribution to provide mountain residents with free food, water and other necessary supplies.
  • A donations program to channel relief from donors ranging from national corporations to individuals.
  • A prescription delivery program that ensures prescribed medications reach mountain residents who cannot travel to a pharmacy.
  • A snow-removal reimbursement program that reimburses residents and businesses up to $500 for the cost of hiring a professional to remove snow from their properties.

Information on these and other programs and everything else related to the blizzard recovery effort is available at https://snowinfo.sbcounty.gov or by calling the County’s Storm Help Line at 909-387-3911.

In other recovery news, three-quarters of primary County-maintained roads and half of the secondary roads have been widened to two lanes. For the latest update on road widening, visit the Snow Road Widening Status dashboard. County crews are also making progress on clearing snow from school bus stops.

See the progress in today’s update video.

Residential and Commercial Building Damage Collection

The San Bernardino County Fire Department is requesting damage reports for residential and commercial buildings that sustained structural damage from the 2023 Winter Storm. If your home or business sustained moderate to major damage, please report damages at https://bit.ly/3LfRmM5.

Mountains in the midst of newest storm, with more to come

Rain is predicted to fall in the county’s mountain and valley communities tonight and tomorrow, with more rain and perhaps snow Saturday through Monday. County crews are working around the clock to prepare flood control facilities such as culverts, debris basins, and channels. Residents are advised to take precautions to protect themselves and their property.

Public Works crews continue to make San Bernardino County storm safe

County Public Works crews continue to work downstream of recent fires prepping for rain.

Watch our crews hard at work servicing storm drains in this video.

Public Works is staffed 24 hours a day and has pre-staged equipment throughout the county. Crews will remain active until the storms move through and roads are clear of snow and potential debris flow.

Residents are encouraged to sign up for the TENS “reverse 911” system and to check our snow information website for the latest local road closures and snow removal status.

New Storm Information Line Telephone Hours

You can call into our Storm Information Line every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at (909) 387-3911. After 9 p.m., please leave a message.

As of today, the call center has received 6,758 calls from residents inquiring about the County’s helpful programs and requesting assistance with various challenges.

For additional information outside of those hours, please visit SnowInfo.SBCounty.gov.

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