Storm update: I-80 reopened after more than 3 feet falls in Sierra |

Storm update: I-80 reopened after more than 3 feet falls in Sierra

Interstate 80 was reopened in both direction at 6 p.m. after being closed all of Friday.
Courtesy of California Department of Transportation

Update — 6:45: Interstate 80 has been reopened, according to the California Department of Transportation, with requirement 2 chain controls in place from Alta to the Nevada state line.

Efforts to open the interstate have been hampered by a reported 40 inches of new snow at Soda Springs since 6 a.m. this morning.

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

Original Post

The second of two storms to hit the region this week barreled into the Sierra Nevada yesterday, bringing a halt to traffic on Interstate 80 and dropping multiple feet of snow at local resorts.

The recent system followed a winter storm earlier in the week, which was filled with subtropical moisture, and brought widespread raining, flooding, high winds, and roughly 1,000 lightning strikes throughout the Sierra.

A winter storm warning for Truckee and greater Lake Tahoe, according to the National Weather Service Office in Reno, remains in effect until noon Sunday.

Road closures throughout the Sierra

Interstate 80 remains closed over Donner Summit, as of 11:30 a.m., according to the California Department of Transportation, due to low visibility and high winds over the summit. The interstate is currently closed from the Nevada state line to Applegate. The closure marks the third time in two weeks the interstate has been shutdown due to winter storms.

The storm has also brought several other closures and chain requirements to roads throughout the Sierra Nevada. Highway 267 has requirement 2 chain controls in effect from Truckee to Kings Beach. Highway 89 has requirement 1 chain controls in place from Truckee to Tahoe City.

The Town of Truckee Department of Public Works announced Skislope Way in Tahoe Donner from Bear Meadows to Davos Drive will be closed for one to two days due to snow drifts and high winds.

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Snow day

The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District canceled all classes and activities due to the storm, according to a note posted on the district’s website, marking the seventh snow day of the year for Truckee-Tahoe students.

Snow Totals

Local resorts were hit with fresh snow overnight, but with high winds in the area and avalanche mitigation taking place, many ski areas have lifts on hold or are closed all together.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows reported 28 inches of fresh snow in the past 24 hours at Squaw’s upper mountain, while Alpine’s upper mountain received 2 feet of new snow.

Northstar California resort picked up 18 inches of snow overnight for a 24-hour total of 26 inches.

Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort said it gained 20 inches of fresh snow since yesterday, while the cross-country center reported 28 inches of snow.

West of Truckee, Boreal Mountain California was walloped by 40 inches of fresh snow, giving the resort a seven-day total of 87 inches. Nearby, Sugar Bowl reported 27 inches of snow at its base since yesterday, and 31 inches at the summit.

Across the lake, Heavenly Mountain Resort said it received 21 inches of fresh snow. And at Mount Rose Ski Tahoe, the resort said it picked up 16 inches, and will be closed today due to Mount Rose Highway being closed.

Avalanche warning

A backcountry avalanche warning remains in effect for the area, according to the Sierra Avalanche Center in Truckee, lasting until 7 p.m. Saturday.

High avalanche danger continues for all elevations, said the center, in its daily avalanche forecast.

A skier was injured in an avalanche near Jobs Peak on Tuesday, according to a public report submitted to center, which said two people were backcountry skiing in the area when one was caught in an avalanche. The skier slid roughly 400 feet, hitting trees on his way down, according to the report, before coming to a stop with his head above the snow.

The skier reportedly suffered a compound fracture to his lower leg and was taken out of the area by Alpine County Search and Rescue, and other local agencies.


Snow will continue to accumulate through Sunday, and could result in a storm total of 3-5 feet at local ski resorts. Temperatures aren’t expected to get above 30 degrees throughout the weekend in Truckee.

The Truckee-Tahoe area should see a break from stormy weather beginning Monday, according to the weather service, before another chance of snow showers on Wednesday.

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