Thousands still powerless at Tahoe; Schools closed, delayed; Chains controls in effect

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Thousands remain without power Thursday morning as the second winter storm to impact Lake Tahoe this week moves out of the basin later in the day.

The National Weather Service in Reno has a winter storm in effect through 10 a.m. Thursday but after that expires, sunny skies are expected through the weekend.

In South Lake Tahoe, 6,038 customers have been without power since Tuesday morning. Power was restored to about 6,000 customers throughout the day on Wednesday and Liberty Utilities said crews are working around the clock to restore power which includes rebuilding of electric infrastructure, where crews can safely access.

Mountain resorts around Lake Tahoe are reporting about a foot of new snow in the last 24 hours, with Kirkwood Mountain Resort receiving about 3 feet of powder, Heavenly Mountain Resort received 15 inches and North Shore resorts are reporting anywhere from 14-19 inches.

All schools in the Lake Tahoe Unified School district are closed on Thursday, Dec. 16.

All Washoe County School District schools will begin two hours late on Thursday due to hazardous road conditions, the district said and added that winter bus stops are in effect.

Whittell High School and Zephyr Cove Elementary School in Douglas County are operating on a 90-minute delayed start with main bus stops being used for Lake Tahoe routes. The district said students in the Chimney Rock area will be picked up and dropped off at Kahle Community Center.

Lake Tahoe Community College has delayed openings on Thursday. Campus will open at 10 a.m. with the first final exam block at 11 a.m., said a college spokesperson. Hot showers are available to students and staff in the gymnasium.

South Lake Tahoe established a shelter, in coordination with the American Red Cross and El Dorado County, for those impacted by the snowstorm and power outages.

The shelter is open 24 hours, seven days a week until further notice, to all residents and is located at the city’s recreation and swim complex at 1180 Rufus Allen Boulevard.

The shelter is open to support 8,800 households and volunteers are on hand to provide evacuees with food, water and a safe place to sleep.

The Red Cross offers tips to stay safe during emergencies at

Visit the Tribune’s previous story for more details about the shelter.

With power being slowly restored and a massive snow dump, this weekend should be hopping at Lake Tahoe mountain resorts and sledding hills.

Chains or snow tires are required all around Tahoe except on U.S. Highway 50 from Meyers through South Lake Tahoe to Stateline, according to

Friday is expected to be sunny with a high just above freezing and an overnight low in the teens.

Saturday and Sunday will be mostly sunny with highs in the upper 30s and the lows in the low 20s.

The weather service says the active pattern will continue into next week with a chance of snow on Monday and snow likely for Tuesday and Wednesday.

To view all the chain requirements at Lake Tahoe, visit <a href="" id="link-a56031ddc095ebf12cc22e27e686a057" target="_self"></a>.

Bill Rozak is the editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at

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