Highway 89 open at Emerald Bay after snow slide | SierraSun.com

Highway 89 open at Emerald Bay after snow slide

Andrew Cristancho
Sierra Sun
Photos by David C. Antonucci/Special to the SunA snow slide covers Highway 89 near Emerald Bay, closing the road to traffic.
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A mass of snow slid down the hillside above Highway 89 South at Emerald Bay shutting down access to traffic in both directions for about two hours Thursday morning.

Caltrans officials received word of the three- to four-foot deep avalanche at approximately 11 a.m.

California Highway Patrol began traffic control to the north and south bound lanes by 11:36 a.m., said Shelly Chernicki spokeswoman for Caltrans.

Officials opened the state highway a little before 1p.m., said California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Skeen.

No one was injured in the slide and no cars were involved, Skeen said.

The slides are fairly common this time of year, Chernicki said.

“This kind of [slide] is common in the spring and when you add rain, the snow starts to deteriorate and it gave way,” she said.

Eyewitness and West Shore resident David Antonucci said he was headed to South Lake Tahoe when he came across the mass of wet snow just before 11 a.m.

Antonucci, who climbed on top of the slide to inspect for trapped cars with a stick, said the slide looked like it was about 100 feet wide.

Skeen said three CHP officers were on the scene holding traffic at Bayview to the south and Eagle Falls to the north, while Caltrans crews cleaned up the snow with a plow.