Tahoe blizzard – a commentary: Prosser residents embrace the challenge
Sierra Sun reporter Cassandra Walker lives in the area of Rainbow Drive in Prosser Lakeview Estates, where power went out Monday and Tuesday — and in some locations had yet to be restored Thursday afternoon. Complicating matters, severe tree damage blocked many roads in the area, and it took several hours Wednesday and Thursday for plows to chug through the snow-bound neighborhoods to clear paths. Needless to say, Cassandra and her neighbors were buried; this story is a short snapshot into the challenges — and fun — her neighbors experience the past couple days.
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Truckee-Tahoe locals made the best of their snowy and power-less situation on Wednesday, and perhaps no better setting was in the area of Prosser Lakeview in Truckee’s northern outskirts, a buried community that set the stage for some awesome locals to do what they do best.
After many residents spent time lending a hand snowblowing, sharing resources and tools and helping each other out, the locals took to the white roads with a range of snow equipment.
“This is why we moved here in ’89,” said Kim Manning, a Prosser resident. “Bring the snow, for sure. We’ve been outside, playing ‘hide the beacon’ with the neighbors, but the dogs keep finding it!”
Prosser residents spent hours tackling removing snow, waiting for it to pile up and repeating the process, but the positive and happy neighborhood vibe almost made you forget that the power had been out over 48 hours.
“This is what a lot of locals live here for,” said Sean Field, a 21-year Tahoe-Truckee local. “I couldn’t be happier to see the snow fall as much as it has — the good ‘ole days are back.”
Kina Nemeth, a 22-year Tahoe-Truckee local, said she’s seen big storms in the past, but not ones lasting more than two days without letting up.
She and her family are enjoying it for the most part.
“We can’t do much in this weather, so we make the most of it,” she said. “I just got back from snowshoeing my daughter to her friend’s house — I said if you can walk, you can go!”
Things can get a bit stir-crazy with the kids out of school so long — first with the holiday break, and now two weeks of tough weather means the locals are heading to the berms to build snow forts and epic sled hills, and rip around on snowmobiles through neighborhoods and down by Prosser Creek Reservoir Recreation Area.
“I needed something to do,” said Seth Dee, who has lived in Truckee the past three years and joined his friends for a first-time snowmobile ride. “So here I am … on this snowmobile, stuck in Prosser Reservoir. I am psyched though, hearing about these Tahoe storms and now seeing one, it’s like a Sasquatch sighting or something.”
Rich Mangum, a photographer and 20-year North Tahoe-Truckee local, celebrated his birthday on Wednesday and said he hadn’t seen a storm like this since his 21st birthday, 19 years ago when they couldn’t even get to the bar.
“I like all of the water for California, but snowboarding and snowmobiling is way more fun than snowblowing,” he laughed.
“I’m so glad it stopped snowing … I’ve never said that before in my life,” he added.
Vic Lowrance has been a Tahoe local since 1994 and said he hasn’t seen road conditions like these since 1997, where people aren’t able to come or go from either direction.
“We have to clear snow off the roof, so right now you can’t even see through the windows, it’s just snow,” he said. “I’m happy; tired from shoveling, but stoked.”
It’s the refreshing attitude of the folks who live in Truckee who made all the difference during the storm. Eager to help and willing to work to earn some time playing in the snow, they embody what being a local is all about.