Lake Tahoe weather: First storm wave begins Wednesday; are you prepared? |

Lake Tahoe weather: First storm wave begins Wednesday; are you prepared?

Liberty crews assess extended tree and power line damage Tuesday in the River Road area along Highway 89 near Lake Tahoe.
Courtesy Liberty Utilities
Heavy snow danger signs

The Building Services Division of the Placer County Community Development Resource Agency says potential heavy snow danger signs include:

  • Visual deformation or sagging of beams and other parts of a building’s structural support system,
  • Newly developed cracks, particularly any which appear above windows or doors and where beams and other support structures are located. Minor cracks that expand or contract could be indications of building movement,
  • Doors and windows that suddenly become significantly harder to open or do not open at all, a sign that a building is potentially settling,
  • Water leakages inside buildings,
  • Recent buckling of interior or exterior siding and finishes, which may be a symptom of settling; and
  • Sprinkler heads being pushed down below ceiling levels.

Update 6:23 p.m. Wednesday:

Placer County issued a statement Wednesday evening announcing that if the region experiences extended power outages again, they can expect to find emergency warming shelter and cellphone charging facilities at both the North Tahoe Public Utility District office and the Tahoe City Public Utility District office.

The NTPUD office is located at 875 National Ave. in Tahoe Vista, and the TCPUD office is located at 221 Fairway Dr. in Tahoe City.

The original story is below:


TRUCKEE, Calif. — Local residents are bracing for yet another storm after a series of weather events last week dumped multiple feet of snow around the lake and left thousands of residents without power — some of whom are still in the dark.

A winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service’s Reno branch forecasts that snow will begin late Wednesday in Eastern Sierra counties and Northern Washoe County.

The advisory, which is in effect from 4 p.m. Wednesday through 4 a.m. Thursday for lower elevations in the region, forecasts 8 to 16 inches of snow above 7,000 feet, with 4 to 8 inches possible at lake level.

Meanwhile, a winter storm warning will be in effect at Donner Summit communities like Soda Springs and Norden, according to NWS, from 10 a.m. Wednesday through noon Thursday.

According to that warning, as much as 2 feet of snow is possible across higher Sierra peaks.

Both weather advisories also state that wind blown snow could produce whiteout conditions, slick roads and increased avalanche danger. Snow tire and/or chain restrictions will likely be in effect across Sierra highways Wednesday as the storm moves in.

Liberty Utilities spokesperson Kathy Carter said in an email Tuesday that customers should be prepared for power outages in the coming storms.

As of 6 p.m. that evening, she said power had been restored to most Tahoe-area customers — including 136 customers in the River Road area off of highway 89 who had been without power for more than a week — and those who have not yet had electricity restored should check their service panels for damage.

The Truckee Donner Public Utility District also issued a statement on Tuesday that including a warning about possible outages resulting from the coming storms, and urging customers to be prepared.

Placer County did the same, advising Sierra residents and businesses to monitor buildings, propane tanks and natural gas lines for signs of excessive loading due to heavy snow. Further, residents and businesses should check roof vents, chimneys and flues for blockages from to snow build-up.

The North Tahoe Fire Protection District announced in a press release on Tuesday that a warming center and cellphone charging station will be opened again over the weekend for residents without power at the Tahoe City Public Utility District office at 221 Fairway Dr. in Tahoe City.

Residents can visit to learn about sandbag locations, emergency tips and more from Placer County.

The town of Truckee also has a Storm Event Information Source website.

On the Nevada side, Incline Village/Crystal Bay residents can go to for storm and other updates.

The Sierra Sun will continue to update this post Wednesday and Thursday with information on the storm.

Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at, 530-550-2653 or @akrhoades.

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