Lake Tahoe weather: Progress being made on widespread power outages | SierraSun.com

Lake Tahoe weather: Progress being made on widespread power outages

Staff report
Traffic conditions on Interstate 80 (seen here where a semi has spun out) and other highways across the North Tahoe-Truckee region are very dangerous; drivers should use extreme caution.
Courtesy CHP-Truckee
Road closures all over the place Once again, as was the case all day Monday, road conditions will be very sketchy throughout the Tahoe-Truckee region, with chain and/or snow tire restrictions in place across all major highways. Closures to certain highways — particularly Interstate 80 between Reno and Truckee — have been off and on since Sunday night.

2:30 p.m. Tuesday update:

Below is the latest list of updates from Liberty Utilities about areas affected by power outages on Tuesday due to the most recent winter storm:

Portola: Trees fell on primary line; crews on site making repairs; most customers should be restored by 10 p.m.

River Road/Silver Creek/Fir Crags Road/Hwy 89: Avalanche danger and weather conditions prohibiting crews from accessing damage; customers should plan on multi-day outage. Plan to make progress starting Wednesday morning.

Tahoe City: Fairway area restored; crews continuing repairs with 7 p.m. restoration time.

Ward Canyon: Broken pole; estimate most customers restored by 10 p.m.

Additional smaller outages throughout the rest of Liberty’s service territory are being assessed and repaired; there are no restoration times.

Visit https://california.libertyutilities.com/truckee/residential for updates.


11:45 a.m. Tuesday update:

Below is a list of updates from Liberty Utilities about areas affected by power outages on Tuesday due to the most recent winter storm:

Alpine Meadows: service restored.

Portola: Trees fell on primary line; crews on site with restoration expected Tuesday.

Rubicon Bay/Scenic Drive Area: service restored.

River Road/Silver Creek/Fir Crags Road/Hwy 89: Avalanche danger and weather conditions prohibiting crews from accessing damage; customers should plan on multi-day outage.

Tahoe City: Crews on site; estimated restoration by 2 p.m., but that may be longer if additional issues are identified.

Visit https://california.libertyutilities.com/truckee/residential for updates.


10 a.m. Tuesday update:

West Shore customers in the North Tahoe area are still experiencing widespread outages due to storm damage, according to a statement from Liberty Utilities.

At Alpine Meadows, restoration is expected by noon Tuesday unless further damage occurs. In the Rubicon Bay/Scenic Drive Area, crews are working on two structures with broken cross arms and floating wires. Estimated restoration is 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Meanwhile, avalanche danger and weather conditions are prohibiting crews from accessing damage in the areas of River Road and Fir Crags Road/Highway 89 — “customers should plan on multi-day outage,” according to Liberty.

In Tahoe City, outages are expected to be restored by 2 p.m.

Visit https://california.libertyutilities.com/truckee/residential for updates.


8:30 a.m. Tuesday update:

West Shore customers in the North Tahoe area are experiencing widespread outages due to storm damage, according to a statement from Liberty Utilities.

“Crews are either on site assessing damage or in route,” according to the statement. Below is a breakdown of specifically affected areas, according to Liberty:

Alpine Meadows: Lower mountain and lodge out; crews making repairs with restoration expected by noon today unless further damage occurs.

Rubicon Bay/Scenic Drive Area: Crews currently working on two structures with broken cross arms and floating wires. Estimated restoration by noon today.

River Road/Hwy 89: Avalanche danger and weather making damage assessment difficult. Customers should plan on multi-day outage.

Portola: At least four trees fell on primary line; crews on site. Restoration unknown.

Further, additional “smaller outages throughout rest of service territory that are being assessed… (with) no restoration times,” officials said.

Visit https://california.libertyutilities.com/truckee/residential for updates.

The original story from 7 a.m. Tuesday is below.


TAHOE-TRUCKEE — Snow totals could rapidly vary across the Tahoe Basin Tuesday as more bands of snow move into the area, dumping as much as a foot of snow at lake level.

A winter storm warning remains in effect until 4 a.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Reno, while a backcountry avalanche warning from the Sierra Avalanche Center is in place until 7 a.m. Tuesday. Avalanche danger is high at all elevations.

Per the storm warning, accumulation above 7,000 feet could range from 8 to 14 inches Tuesday, while 5 to 10 inches could accumulate below 7,000 feet. Areas where heavy snow bands persist could see up to 18 inches.

“Bands of snow will continue through tonight with the heaviest snow expected today,” according to NWS. “Snow may rapidly vary in intensity over short distances.”

The Tuesday forecast comes after Monday’s heavy storm in which the region saw anywhere from 2 to more than 3 feet of snow at higher elevations, as well as an avalanche that covered the Mt. Rose Highway at about 9:15 p.m. Monday with roughly 20 feet of snow.

According to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, the main route between Reno and Lake Tahoe would remain closed until further notice. No one was believed to be hurt in the incident.

Meanwhile, according to NWS, the nearby Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe resort (which is closed Tuesday due to the avalanche) recorded between 39 and 43 inches of fresh snow as of 7 a.m. Monday, with 42 inches falling at Heavenly and up to 32 inches at upper mountain at Sugar Bowl.

A solid foot of snow had fallen by 7 a.m. at ground level in Truckee, with closer to 2 feet at higher elevations like in Tahoe Donner.

Winds Tuesday are expected to range from 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. Peak gusts on the Sierra ridge could be as strong as 135 mph.

NWS warns that rapid rates of snowfall — up to 2 inches per hour — and winds could cause dangerous whiteout conditions, particularly over mountain passes and in the backcountry.