Woman, 93, Dies Trapped in Her Home After Blizzard Hit Southern California Mountains

CRESTLINE, CA - MARCH 6, 2023: Street signs stick out from piles of snow off Highway 138 on March 6, 2023 in Crestline, California. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
CRESTLINE, CA - MARCH 6, 2023: Street signs stick out from piles of snow off Highway 138 on March 6, 2023 in Crestline, California. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/Getty

An elderly woman from Southern California is dead after severe snowstorms hit San Bernardino County.

Elinor "Dolly" Avenatti's concerned neighbor found the 93-year-old woman dead in her home in Crestline, California, which is in the San Bernardino Mountains, NBC News reported. Avenatti was sitting next to her fireplace when the neighbor went to check on her and found her on Monday.

"Nobody expected that much snow," Avenatti's great-niece, Valli Bryan Compton, told the outlet. "It's hard to say it's the government's fault or it's the city's fault. I just wish they could have let people go up there because we could have gotten her."

Compton recalled having her final conversation with her late aunt on Feb. 28. That day, Avenatti warned her family not to come to see her because of the severe weather. She called the scene a "Winter wonderland!" Compton told NBC News.

RELATED: Woman, 80, Dies After Porch Collapses Under 'Non-Stop' Snow Following California Winter Storm

Their call was cut when the power in Avenatti's home went out, Compton said. They were back on the phone within 20 minutes, and the next day Compton looked at outages in the area and discovered that Avenatti's power had probably gone out again.

"If she had power and wasn't trapped in the house, I 99.99% believe she would still be here today," Compton told NBC News. "At least she lived a great life and passed away in her happy place."

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

RELATED: Woman Dies Trying to Help Someone Stuck in the Snow During Calif.'s 'Once-in-a-Generation' Storm

David Wert, a spokesperson for the county told NBC News, "We understand that people are not happy about being trapped in their homes. This was really unavoidable. When you have 10 feet of snow, there is no way to make it disappear instantly."

A total of 12 people have been confirmed dead since the storm's first snowfall last month, Mara Rodriguez, a spokesperson for the sheriff's department told The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.

Rhea-Frances Tetley told the newspaper that Avenatti was full of life.

RELATED VIDEO: Woman, 22, Dies After Getting Trapped in Her Car for 18 Hours During Blizzard: 'She Was Scared'

"She was a joy for the neighborhood," Tetley told The Times. "She was feisty and independent ... and generous to a fault."

Tetley told the outlet that neighbors had been checking on the woman for about a week, including delivering food, but earlier this week she stopped answering the door.

"She didn't have heat," Tetley said. "I think that she froze to death in the house."

She said that officials plowed the street after Avenatti was found because officials needed to respond to her death.

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California has faced back-to-back storms that brought an unusual amount of snowfall to a number of regions, causing power outages and road closures, according to CNN.

As a result of the weather, Southern California was even issued its first blizzard warning since 1989, per CBS News.