Update: I-80 reopened | SierraSun.com

Update: I-80 reopened

Update 10 a.m. Thursday — I-80 reopened to all motorists

According to Caltrans, I-80 is now open to all motorists, including big rigs. Chain controls are still in place.

Update 7:30 a.m. Thursday — I-80 reopened

I-80 has reopened, according to Caltrans. Westbound I-80 reopened to all motorists including big rigs. Eastbound I-80 is currently opened to passenger vehicles only.

Big rigs heading eastbound are being held at Applegate due to snow. Westbound big rigs are being screened at the Nevada state line.

Update 8 p.m. — I-80 closed overnight

Interstate 80 will remain closed overnight in both directions from Colfax to the Nevada state line, according to the California Department of Transportation, due to poor conditions and snow removal operations.

The interstate has been closed for much of the day due to multiple spinouts and whiteout conditions, and will be reevaluated by the department early Wednesday morning.

Local traffic can still access Interstate 80 with proof of residency, according to the California Highway Patrol Truckee Area and Communications Center.

For latest road conditions, visit quickmap.dot.ca.gov.

With more heavy, wet snow hitting the region, the North Tahoe Fire Protection District issued a warning on the danger of snow shedding from roofs in the Sierra. North Tahoe Fire also urged residents to have a working carbon monoxide detector installed as carbon monoxide poisoning may become a threat if vents become clogged.


Original Post

Another winter storm slammed into the Sierra Nevada yesterday, dropping more than 2 feet of snow at higher elevations in the region and causing travel days on local roads and highways.

The latest storm to impact the area forced a closure of Interstate 80 late Monday night, resulted in canceled classes across the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District on Tuesday, and dropped 20 inches or more at many local ski resorts.

A winter storm warning remains in effect until 4 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service Office in Reno, for Truckee and the greater Lake Tahoe area.

Another 1-2 feet of snow is expected to accumulate at lower elevations in the Sierra by Thursday, according to the weather service, while areas above 7,000 feet could receive an additional 2-4 feet of snow. Wind gusts of more than 100 mph are expected along Sierra ridges. Lower elevations may see wind gusts of up to 50 mph.

“Travel could be very difficult to impossible, especially late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning with snowfall rates of 3 inches per hour possible,” said the weather service in its winter storm warning on Tuesday. “Very strong winds could cause tree damage and periods of whiteout conditions.”

Road Conditions: Travel not advised

Once again, traffic heading over Donner Pass on Interstate 80 was brought to a halt due to heavy snow and whiteout conditions last night.

The interstate has since been reopened in both directions, according to the California Department of Transportation, to passenger vehicles with requirement 2 chain controls.

As of Tuesday morning, requirement 2 chain controls are in place on Highway 267 between Truckee and Kings Beach. Requirement 1 chain controls are in place on Highway 89 between Truckee and Tahoe City.

The National Weather Service has advised against travel at this time.

For latest highway conditions, visit quickmap.dot.ca.gov.


Snow Day: School canceled

For the eighth time this year, the Truckee Tahoe Unified School District canceled classes in the area due to winter weather.

The district is looking at solutions to address the lost time, according to Coordinator of Parent & Community Relations Kelli Twomey, which will likely be similar to the district’s approach during the 2016-17 school year, and may include independent study and make-up days during Spring Break.

Snow Totals

Many of the area’s local ski resorts reported 20 inches or more of fresh snow this morning.

Sugar Bowl was hit with 28 inches in the past 24 hours, and while wind and snow are impacting operations, the resort has many of its lifts spinning for Tuesday operations.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has had a historic month of snowfall, thus far, already having topped the February record for most snow at Squaw’s upper mountain. The resorts reported 22 inches of fresh snow at Squaw’s upper mountain Tuesday morning, while Alpine Meadows was hit with 20 inches of new snow.

Northstar California Resort reported 20 inches of new snow this morning and is 18 inches away from hitting the 500-inch mark for the season.

Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort said it received 16 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours.

Around the Lake Tahoe, Homewood Mountain Resort picked up an additional 20 inches of snow, Diamond Peak Ski Resort received 15 inches, and Heavenly Mountain Resort was hit with 5 inches.


This week’s storm will be followed by another storm forecast to move into the Truckee-Tahoe area late Friday.

The weekend storm is likely to bring rain and snow to Truckee, according to the weather service, and could result in another 10 inches of snow at lower elevations by Sunday night. Higher elevations in the Sierra and local ski resorts could pick up an additional 1-2 feet of snow by the end of the weekend.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com.

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