Hundreds of Irvine Unified School District students are stranded at science camps in San Bernardino County due to heavy snowfall in the area, and efforts are underway to get them home.
Several mountain roads remained closed early Monday morning because of the snow. Caltrans says crews were working to clear them, including Highway 330 and Highway 18.
The shutdowns had stranded about 600 elementary and middle school students since Tuesday of last week. They were supposed to return on Friday but got snowed in.
Some of the students are stuck at Pali Adventure Camp in Running Springs and the rest are at Thousand Pines Camp in Crestline.
By late Monday morning, district officials said they were informed the roads were safe for travel by buses, which they said would be escorted down the mountain by the California Highway Patrol. It wasn't clear when that process would start or what time students would be expected to return.
During the brunt of the storm over the weekend, some parents told our sister station KABC in Los Angeles they weren't able to communicate with their kids because they weren't allowed to bring their cell phones on the trip.
One mother said her daughter ran out of medication.
"Teachers have told her that she could write a letter. They took a picture of it, they sent it to me," said Parisa Yazdani. "One of the teachers let her send me a text through the app that they use for showing all the parents pictures... otherwise, there's been no communication."
Parent Janine Guenard said she received a text from her daughter on Thursday, saying they were fine and had food and water.
In a statement to parents, the district said in part: "Please know that students will remain safe and under adult supervision throughout this process. As communicated previously, we encourage families to follow CHP guidance and to avoid the area so that roads can remain open for our buses and we can bring our students down the mountain as efficiently and safely as possible."
Officials added students would only be taking their backpacks with essentials, and the rest of their luggage would be returned at a later time by camp staff.
"Our first priority is getting everyone out of camp while road and weather conditions permit safe travel," the statement read.
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