Lake Tahoe weather: Power outages being restored (Wednesday recap)

Amanda Rhoades
This image of a fallen tree that knocked out a power line last night near Coachland RV Park on Pioneer Trail, was sent to us by Liberty Utilities.
Road closures and other dangers

Tahoe-Truckee highways continue to be a mess for travel, and some are closing off and on.

A blizzard warning remains in effect Wednesday morning, before a winter storm warning rolls in; up to 10 feet of snow is forecast by Thursday morning at high elevations.

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

• An avalanche warning remains in effect for the greater Lake Tahoe area through 7 a.m. Wednesday, according to NWS. Visit to stay up to date with warnings and slide potential.

• Schools throughout the Tahoe-Truckee region and in Incline Village are closed yet again Wednesday due to the weather and safety concerns.

• Click here to follow the Sierra Sun's and Tahoe Daily Tribune's live social media coverage from regional officials and residents about the storm.

• What do in a power outage? Click here for helpful tips and hints from the American Red Cross on energy conservation and more.

Click here to read a Friday morning update about power outages and more dangers in the region.

Click here for Thursday updates about the storm.


Below is part of an update from Liberty Utilities from 7 p.m.:

“Liberty Utilities crews continue their hard work and have been successful with getting power back to approximately 16,300 customers this afternoon and evening. These regions include: Northstar, Glenshire, Kings Beach, Squaw Valley and Tahoe City. We have approximately 6,500 locations to attend to and the crews are working as quickly as possible. We cannot guarantee restoration times however, will continue to provide updates as they are available.”


We’ve received several important notices over the past 1.5 hours. They’re listed below for your convenience:

• School has been canceled for Thursday, Jan. 12, across the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, according to a 6:14 p.m. email to the Sun from Kelli Twomey, TTUSD’s Coordinator of Parent & Community Relations.

• Placer County will open an emergency shelter Wednesday night at Truckee Tahoe Airport (10356 Truckee Airport Road). “The airport is currently open as a place to warm up and charge phones and will remain open to overnight guests,” according to a Placer County news release. “Parking is available at the airport. Service animals will be the only pets the shelter can accommodate.Shelter coordinators can be reached at 530-412-0323.

• According to NV Energy, more than 2,600 customers in Incline Village-Crystal Bay remain without power as of 6:30 p.m. — crews estimate power to be restored as early as 6:45 p.m. to as late as 9:45 p.m. To stay up to date, visit, then click on “Northern Nevada,” then “Washoe County,” then your zip code.

• Lastly, for the Kings Beach and surrounding areas, as power is being restored to the area tonight, North Tahoe PUD staff is still asking customers to continue to limit water usage as much as possible, even if the power is restored to your home. “While the risk of sewer overflows is the greatest concern, the District is also running the water system on temporary generator power to run the National Avenue Water Treatment Plan and pump water throughout the District,” officials said. Per Liberty Utilities, power is expected to be fully restored by Wednesday night.

UPDATE 4:05 p.m. WEDNESDAY: The Washoe County School District is closing its Incline Village schools for the remainder of the week, according to a message issued to parents. The district’s website also states that all sports and other school activities in Incline Village are cancelled. “I just spoke with Jim Hendrickson, emergency manager for the district — the reason for the closure is because of the snow impact at the schools. The Mt. Rose Highway has been closed, there’s avalanche danger, Highway 80 has been closed, Highway 28 has been open and closed all day … and according to (Washoe) County, some side streets (in Incline Village and Crystal Bay) will not be cleared until late Friday,” district spokesperson Vickie Campbell told the Sierra Sun by phone Wednesday afternoon. “We anticipate opening school on Monday morning, but there will be consistent evaluation of the weather and the roads,” she added. Tahoe Truckee Unified School District was closed today, but we’re still waiting on information regarding any potential closures or altered schedules throughout the rest of the week. UPDATE 3:02 p.m. WEDNESDAY: What about the mail? The United States Postal Service issued an email statement this afternoon announcing that mail service is currently suspended at its North Lake Tahoe offices in Carnelian Bay, Homewood, Incline Village, Kings Beach, Olympic Valley, Tahoe City, Tahoe Vista, Truckee and Tahoma. There is no estimate when those offices will re-open at this time. “We take great pride in our reliability,” USPS Manager of Postal Operations Suzanne Phillips said in the statement. “However without power and clear access to our locations, we are unable to provide service.” UPDATE 2:11 p.m. WEDNESDAY: Liberty Utilities has said that power is restored to a majority of customers in Northstar, Squaw Valley, Olympic Valley, Alpine Meadows, Glenshire, Martis Camp and Truckee. They anticipate that power in Kings Beach, Tahoe City and Portola/Loyalton will also be restored today. However, they are experiencing challenges restoring power to the area south of Homewood to Emerald Bay. UPDATE 1:05 p.m. WEDNESDAY: CalTrans and California Highway Patrol crews announced in a Facebook post that they’re opening I-80 at Donner Summit: Placer County has also announced that there are now a total of four warming shelters and charging stations for the region. They are located at:
  • The Tahoe City Public Utility District, 221 Fairway Dr. in Tahoe City
  • The North Tahoe Public Utility District, 875 National Ave. in Tahoe Vista
  • The Truckee Tahoe Airport, 10356 Truckee Airport Rd. in Truckee
  • The Squaw Valley Fire Department, 305 Squaw Valley Rd. in Olympic Valley
The North Tahoe Fire Protection District has issued a statement urging residents to monitor propane tanks, as tanks that are covering in deep snow are at risk for leaks. According to the statement, the weight of the snow can cause fittings, joints and even the entire tank to shift. “This problem can be compounded by snow being cleared off roofs, driveways, and walkways onto tanks, lines, and fittings,” the statement says. “Large piles of snow surrounding tanks and lines can also prevent leaking gas from escaping thus creating a huge pocket of gas that could fuel a massive explosion or leak into your home.” The statement from NTFPD also says that between 12-15 homes were impacted by avalanches at Alpine Meadows yesterday. While some structural damage resulted from the incidents, no injuries were reported. The area remains closed to both vehicles and pedestrians at this time. UPDATE 12:02 p.m. WEDNESDAY: Progress is being made in restoring power to the greater Truckee region — but a timetable still remains unknown for complete electricity restoration. “NV Energy has repaired their transmission line and substation — and we now have transmission power back to the district,” Truckee Donner PUD Spokesman

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