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Crews working 24/7 during storm

Sierra Countis
Sierra Sun
Emma Garrard/ Sierra SunA Tahoe City sidewalk gets cleared on Monday.
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Heavy snow in the Sierra is the culprit behind dozens of spin-outs, slow-moving traffic and stranded vehicles.

Towing services have been working ’round the clock since last Thursday when the first of several powerful winter storms hit the Sierra, bringing several new feet of snow and hazardous winter driving conditions.

“It’s crazy out there. There’s gridlock all through town,” said Galeen Stratton, office manager with Dependable Tow in Truckee.

Phones at Dependable Tow have been ringing off the hook since the first storm rolled in late last week, Stratton said.

Dependable Tow truck drivers worked through the night Sunday into Monday in response to urgent calls from drivers stuck in the snow, Stratton said. Vehicles were sliding out on slippery roadways and causing accidents.

And Mother Nature hadn’t given up yet, as the snow continued falling on Monday afternoon.

“It’s just your typical winter chaos,” said Truckee Police Lt. Randy Fenn.

Until the winter storm passes through the area, Fenn said he advises drivers not to go out unless absolutely necessary. As of Monday afternoon, there were no reports of any major vehicle collisions or injuries, he said. Even vehicles with four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive should be reminded to slow down in order to be able to stop without sliding, Fenn said.

Similar to Dependable Tow, High Sierra tow trucks were also out all night, pulling vehicles out of ditches, assisting drivers without tire chains, and towing vehicles stranded in snow berms, said Jessie Pineau, office manager with High Sierra Towing.

On Monday afternoon, Pineau said the heavy snow caused delays for tow truck drivers because roads weren’t plowed and slow-going traffic congested many of the main roadways. Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol have been quicker to respond to the scene in some cases since tow truck drivers are “doing a lot of driving around in circles,” she said.

All on-duty CHP officers were out of the Truckee office on Monday covering weather-related calls, according to office staff.

Preparedness is key in winter conditions, Fenn said.

“There’s no such thing as a quick trip in the Sierra,” Fenn said. “Bring your patience with you ” pack it all.”


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