Lake Tahoe weather: Highway 89 reopened after avalanche (updated) |

Lake Tahoe weather: Highway 89 reopened after avalanche (updated)

A look during the early morning hours Monday of the avalanche on Highway 89, where one car was fully buried. The two people inside were rescued safely without injuries.
Courtesy CHP-Truckee
ALL THE SNOW - NEARLY 9 FEET This storm marks the third significant winter storm to pound the Tahoe-Truckee region since Jan. 1.

As of Sunday, ski resorts in the North Tahoe-Truckee region were reporting anywhere from 47 inches of new snow (Diamond Peak) to 76 inches at Homewood — and that was just Thursday through Sunday.

Resort totals are coming in slowly on Monday as the region digs out, but according to posts from Squaw Valley and Northstar, those resorts have received an additional 31 inches and 29 inches, respectively, in the last 24 hours.

Then there's Homewood — the resort tweeted at about 7 a.m. it received 30 inches of snow in the past 24 hours, putting its storm total at 106 inches. That's nearly 9 feet of snow.


At about noon Monday, Caltrans announced that Highway 89 is now reopened between Truckee and Tahoe City.

Further, as the storm passes, the Sierra Avalanche Center has downgrades its avalanche danger to “Considerable” for Monday, Jan. 23.

As such, the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District in Incline Village is lifting its “Shelter in Place” order from Sunday for residents of the Third Creek and Crystal Bay areas, the district announced at noon Monday.

Visit for updated avalanche information.

UPDATE: 11 a.m. Monday:

As of 10:30 a.m., Caltrans says there still is no estimated time for Highway 89 to reopen between Tahoe City and Squaw Valley Road, as avalanche control operations continue.

The roadway remains open from Truckee to Squaw Valley Road.

“Recent heavy snowfall amounts and high winds have increased avalanche danger,” department said in a statement. “Chain controls are in effect for Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 50, roadways around the Lake Tahoe Basin and other higher elevation roadways. Motorists are advised to use caution if they must travel in the mountains today.”

Check out Caltrans’ “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at

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

TRUCKEE, Calif. — All Tahoe-Truckee schools are closed Monday as the region digs out from the latest storm that dumped several feet of snow across the region.

The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District announced early Monday morning that schools would be canceled today; in Incline Village, the Washoe County School District announced Sunday that its Tahoe schools would be closed.

Early Monday morning, the Washoe district announced all other schools were done for the day as well due to several inches of snowfall fell in the city of Reno into the evening Sunday.

In Truckee-Tahoe, some resorts are reporting upwards of 8 feet of snow at higher elevations since Thursday; according to the National Weather Service in Reno, 24 feet of snow has fallen at upper elevations since Jan. 1.

Meanwhile, Highway 89 remains closed last of 7:30 a.m. due to an avalanche that occurred near Rampart Road.

Authorities closed the highway at about 1 a.m. Monday between Alpine Meadows and Tahoe City after an avalanche spilled over the road and caught two cars in its path.

According to the California Highway Patrol, no one was hurt in the incident, and everyone got out the cars safe.

“The slide was 200 feet across and 12 feet high at its termination point,” CHP-Truckee officials reported on the agency’s Facebook page.

Several avalanches have been reported the past couple days in the region’s backcountry, including near Watson Lake, Deep Creek, Negro Canyon and in the Third Creek drainage area in Incline Village according to the Sierra Avalanche Center.

No injuries or other major incidents have been reported.

Meanwhile, Interstate 80 and other regional highways are open as of 7:30 a.m. Monday to traffic, although maximum chain and snow tire controls are in effect throughout the region.

According to the National Weather Service in Reno, this most recent winter storm is expected to taper off Monday. While snow showers are likely into the afternoon, only an inch or so of snow is expected at lake level.

 Several power outages were reported intermittently this weekend, including a larger rash that occurred at about 8:30 p.m .Sunday night across several areas in Truckee; most areas were restored within a couple hours.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User