Lake Tahoe weather: Flooding, snow and avalanche danger present |

Lake Tahoe weather: Flooding, snow and avalanche danger present

Flooding has caused major damage on West Reed Street in Truckee, located on the northwest end of Donner Lake.
Courtesy Jeff Gelinas

UPDATE: 12:45 p.m. Friday:

Because of avalanche activity Friday morning in the Crystal Bay subdivision near east Tuscarora Road, a Reverse Dial Notification safety message has been issued, advising citizens to avoid outdoor activity and to shelter in place until further notice, according to the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District in Incline Village.

“First responders and public safety personnel are monitoring and assessing the situation and will advise further as new information becomes available,” officials said. “… Residents in the Crystal Bay area should exercise caution if accessing the slopes above their homes.”

Human triggered avalanches are likely Friday, and you can visit the Sierra Avalanche Center at to learn more.

“… It is highly recommended to prepare today such as stocking up on groceries, supplies, taking care of your snow removal and remember to keep your gas meter clear,” according to NLTFPD. “Also pay attention to snow load near windows…”

The original story from Friday morning is below.

TAHOE-TRUCKEE — Residents in the Tahoe-Truckee region can’t seem to catch a break, at least a decently lengthy one, when it comes to weather.

A flood warning will remain in effect until 9:15 a.m. Friday, while a winter storm warning is set to expire at 1 a.m. Saturday.

Snow levels are around 6,000 feet Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service in Reno. Snow level is expected to fall to 5,500 feet Friday evening and to all valley floors by Saturday morning.

A good amount of snow fell at upper elevation areas overnight Thursday. For example. Sugar Bowl Resort at Donner Summit reported 17 inches of fresh snow overnight at upper mountain, and 12 inches at its base elevation of 6,883 feet.

In all, the storm could bring 2 to 5 inches of new snow at lake level by Friday night, while the high country could see 1 to 2 feet at elevations above 8,000 and 6 to 12 inches between 7,000 and 8,000 feet.

The snow comes right on the heels of several days of steady rain that caused flooding in parts of Truckee, North Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe and elsewhere.

Washoe County School District schools were closed Friday, including those in Incline Village, due to flooding. Schools in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District in Truckee and Tahoe City were initially on a 2-hour delay Friday, but officials made the call due to worsening conditions with snow to cancel school.

On the North Shore and in Truckee, several roads have been affected by flooding, including some along Donner Lake, as well as larger mainstream highways like U.S. 50 and state highway 431 in Nevada (Mt. Rose Highway) and state highways 89 and 267 on the California side.

Intermittent closures have occurred on those roads, and Interstate 80, due to pooling of water in the roadway, mudslides and rockslides.

No injuries or major incidents have been reported as of Friday morning.

Meanwhile, South Lake Tahoe, the Upper Truckee crested at 12.41 feet around 4:30 a.m. Friday, according to the city of South Lake Tahoe. That marks leaves only the historic January 1997 flood in terms of the greatest crest in the history of record keeping.

Several streets are flooded with water several inches, if not a couple feet, deep.

NWS warns that the danger of flooding will persist even as the Tahoe Basin starts seeing more snow than rain.

“Falling snow will rapidly melt in already standing water. Areas that are flooded due to blocked culverts or snow berms will continue to experience flooding conditions. Some isolated spots that are flooded may worsen due to this additional precipitation today.”

Sandbag locations

In Truckee, free sand bags will be available to fill at Truckee Fire Station 92, located at 11473 Donner Pass Road, as well as the U.S. Forest Service Building at 10969 Stevens Lane. Click here to learn more.

In Incline Village, residents can get sandbags from all three North Lake Tahoe Fire stations — Station 11 at 875 Tanager St. in Incline; Station 12 at 14 Cal Neva Drive in Crystal Bay; and Station 13 at 965 Mt. Rose Highway (431) in Incline — and fill them from the sand pile at the Washoe County Maintenance Yard, located at the highway 431/28 intersection, north of the roundabout.

You can also get them at the following Placer County locations, and click here to learn more:

• Tahoe City: Placer County Department of Public Works Corp Yard, 2501 North Lake Blvd. (Burton Creek).

• Olympic Valley: Old Squaw Valley Fire Station, 1810 Squaw Valley Road (at west end of valley, near lifts).

• Northstar: Northstar Community Services District Corp Yard, 50 Trimont Lane (off Northstar Boulevard).

• Kings Beach: North Tahoe Fire Station 52, 288 North Shore Blvd. (Intersection of Highways 267/28). Homewood: North Tahoe Fire: Station 53, 5425 West Lake Blvd.

Throughout the region, there are several road closures; check the following links for informattion:

City of Sparks –
Douglas County, NV –
Carson City –
Caltrans –

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