Flooding, road closures and approaching winter storm ring in new year
The strong winter storm that pummeled California, Nevada and the Sierra has left a flurry of road closures, power outages and flooding with yet another storm expected to hit sometime this evening.
More than 9,500 South Shore customers are still without power as of 11:35 this afternoon, while roads leading out of South Shore on Highway 50 from the ‘Y” to Tallac are clogged with vehicles trying to get over the Sierra to beat the oncoming storm.
At 12:25 this afternoon, traffic on Highway 50 was backed up to Round Hill on the Nevada side.
A winter storm warning is now in effect. Rain and snow are expected to begin later this afternoon and last through Monday. Six inches to one foot of snow is expected at lake level and up 2 feet above 7,000 feet. High winds are expected be a part of the storm. Wind speeds are expected to be between steady at 20 to 30 mph in the basin and up to 100 mph on mountain and ridgetops.
Motorists are urged to carry chains and avoid driving if at all possible. In Nevada, motorists should call (877) 687-6237 In California, motorists should call (800)427-7623.
Interstate 80 from Truckee east to the Nevada state line remains closed after a massive landslide ripped across the interstate at about 3 a.m. Saturday five miles east of Truckee. It trapped six big rigs and four Caltrans vehicles, according to Shelly Chernicki, a Caltrans spokeswoman.
Everyone in the area at the time was rescued and no injuries were reported, but the vehicles are now stuck in the rugged Truckee River Canyon. More than 1,300 cubic feet of mud has been removed so far, said Mark Dinger, Caltrans spokesman on Sunday.
On the Nevada side, Highway 395 remains closed from the Kradelbough Bridge South of Carson City because of flooding. One lane has been opened through the Carson City limits on Highway 395.
Outside of Carson City north, a high wind warning is in effect. Campers and Trailers are prohibited in the Washoe Valley. Chains are now required over Mt. Rose Highway where the National Weather Service is reporting light snow.
Closer to home in Douglas County, from Kingsbury Grade to the Carson Valley, Foothill Road at Highway 207 Kingsbury Grade, Mottsville Road, Centerville Lane from Highway 88 and Genoa Lane to Foothill Road and Dressler Lane from Highway 88 East of the Dressler Ranch remain closed because of flooding.
Highway 89 from South Shore to West Shore is open presently with no restricts. A mudslide on Saturday temporarily closed the highway north of Squaw Valley. South of Squaw Valley Caltrans conducted avalanche controls yesterday.
Back on the South Shore, of the 9,500 customers that are without power, 4,000 are in the Bijou area of South Lake Tahoe.
Seven power poles were blown over by high winds on Saturday. Sierra Pacific said the crews are working on them but don’t have an estimated time when the power will return.
Power was out in the Keys area throughout Saturday but came back on at about 4:40 p.m. Frantic shoppers lined the checkouts of South Lake Tahoe grocery stores stockpiling firewood and food.
For more information, please check back at http://www.tahoedailytribune.com
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