Thousands of people lack electricity in Tahoe area, highways closed by snow

Thousands of residents of Truckee and other areas on the north side of Lake Tahoe went without power Sunday morning due to a winter storm that dumped snow on the Sierra Nevada, shutting down major highways and gas stations. ski.

Just before 9 a.m., more than 14,000 Liberty Utilities customers were running out of power in the area. But as crews continued to work during the storm, only 2,687 customers were still without power at 10 a.m.

Blackouts in and around Truckee due to the severe winter storm began on Friday. Liberty Utilities provides electricity to approximately 49,000 people living in the Tahoe Basin.

A California Highway Patrol vehicle rolls through the snow at Donner Summit on Sunday, December 25. Interstate 80 was closed over the Sierra Nevada on Saturday due to whiteout conditions. CHP Trucker

As snow pours into the Sierra Nevada, several ski resorts near Lake Tahoe have closed due to the fast winds and safety concerns associated with the heavy snow. Alpine Meadows, Palisades Tahoe, Heavenly, Mt. Rose, Kirkwood and Sugar Bowl lifts were closed on Sunday.

Interstate 80 was closed Saturday morning in both directions from Colfax to the Nevada state border. Portions of Highway 50, the other main road connecting Sacramento to the Sierra Nevada, were closed on Saturday evening due to multiple detours amid the stormy weather.

Highway 50 eastbound is closed from east of Placerville to Pollock Pines, and both carriageway directions are closed between Echo Summit and Meyers.

Caltrans officials said Sunday morning that the closure along I-80 would remain in place all day, and although the situation was reassessed on Monday, there is no estimated reopening time.

Northern California storm

A winter storm warning in the Sierra Nevada issued by the Sacramento office of the National Weather Service went into effect Saturday evening and will remain in place until Tuesday morning.

Meteorologists predict 3 to 5 feet of snow in the Sierra, with high elevations potentially reaching 8 feet. Communities in the foothills above 1,000 feet elevation could see 4 to 15 inches.

Weather officials said traveling in the mountains would be dangerous as long as the winter storm warning was active, especially on weekends, with zero visibility on the roads likely at times.

On Wednesday, Donner Pass along I-80 could see up to 4 feet of snow, while Echo Summit along Highway 50 could see 3 feet. Lassen Peak could see 5 feet of snow, according to a weather service forecast.

Meteorologists predict severe travel disruption on Sunday and Monday, with snowfall and lighter rain showers starting Tuesday.

Communities in the Sacramento Valley will continue to see rain until Wednesday. Sacramento and Stockton are both expected to receive between 0.5 inch to one inch of rain during this time, while Grass Valley could see between 3 and 4 inches.

Rains in the valley eased on Sunday, but meteorologists said the showers would return soon.

“The period of drier weather will be short-lived as our next short wave will dig the coast later Sunday through Monday,” the forecasters wrote. in a discussion of the Sunday forecast.

The valley will also receive a severe frost watch from Tuesday through Thursday due to forecasted below freezing temperatures.

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Vincent Moleski covers the latest news for The Bee and is a graduate student of literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the college student newspaper, the State Hornet.

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