According to his family, Jerry Alan Jouret survived a week by eating snow and croissants. He was extremely happy to get out of the situation.
After being missing for nearly a week, an 81-year-old man was found alive and well in his car, thanks to the efforts of a California Highway Patrol helicopter crew. The man, Jerry Alan Jouret, had been reported missing on February 24 after making a trip from Big Pine, California, to Gardnerville, Nevada, a distance of approximately 170 miles. The snowstorms that had been sweeping through the area had caused his car to become buried in snow, trapping him inside for nearly a week, as reported by People. Inyo County Sheriff's Office said, "When the crew made their way closer for inspection, a window was lowered and a person began waving from inside the vehicle."
Jouret had not been in contact since February 24, when he departed from his second residence in Big Pine and intended to travel to Gardnerville. He planned to use SR-168 to reach Nevada but was confronted with severe storms in the area. After failing to hear from him for several days, his family alerted the Inyo County Sheriff's Office of his disappearance on Feb. 28. Big Pine is located about 15 miles south of Bishop.
The sheriff's office said Jouret was released from the hospital the next day after being found. His brother, Joe Jouret, told Patch, "I just really believe it was a miracle." He added, "[The pilot] was about out of gas. They came back and they hovered over his car about three feet because they couldn't go down to the road, because the snow was too high. So the other guy in the helicopter was harnessed up, he went out of the helicopter, went down and got [my brother] out of his vehicle, they climbed back into the helicopter and then they flew to Bishop Airport."
Man, 81, Survived Being Trapped in Calif. Snowstorm by Eating Snow and Croissants for a Week: 'A Miracle.'— Tommy Lightfoot Garrett (@LightfootInHwd) March 9, 2023
Jerry Alan Jouret had been missing since Feb. 24 until he was found on March 2 in his Ford Escape after being trapped in a snowstorm.https://t.co/WtCrvvSr0n
The outlet reported that Jouret managed to survive by eating snow and croissants during his ordeal. The sheriff's office shared photographs that showed a large amount of snow covering the area along Death Valley Road where Jouret was discovered. The location was described as a "rough road running south of the 168 and leading into Death Valley National Park." Joe said, "He was smiling all the way back to the airport. He was happy to get out of that situation."
The aftermath of a series of significant snowstorms in late February is still being dealt with by the state of California. Officials have referred to the event as a "once-in-a-generation" occurrence. In response to the extreme weather, Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, declared emergencies in 13 of the state's 58 counties, per The Guardian. An exceptionally rare phenomenon occurred in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains located to the east of Los Angeles, as an enormous quantity of snow fell. Numerous communities located at high altitudes in this area, which are only accessible via winding and steep highways, were affected.
The heavy snowfall trapped many residents inside their homes and vacation rentals. Authorities stated that the snow was too much for plows to clear and required specialized equipment to remove, causing a shortage of tire chains. Additionally, several rooftops in the region collapsed due to the weight of the snow and officials have cautioned that the recent spate of storms could result in more such incidents.