Governor Sisolak declares State of Emergency; NDOT turns away traffic to Lake Tahoe

Staff Report
For several days, Highway 50 and Kingsbury Grade were the only routes in and out of Tahoe, causing many delays on those roads.
Mike Peron / Tahoe Daily Tribune

STATELINE, Nev. – Due to traffic and safety concerns, Nevada Department of Transportation and Nevada State Police will turn away drivers traveling westbound on Highway 50 and Kingsbury Grade.

A Public Safety Alert was sent out at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night stating, “Tahoe Hwys are at a standstill. Traffic will be turned around for safety by NDOT @ 8:30 p.m.”

Following the safety alert, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak declared a State of Emergency.

“Based on advise from my team, I will be declaring a State of Emergency in Northern Nevada. Highway 50, Highway 207 (Kingsbury Grade) and Highway 28 are experiencing delays, dangerous road conditions and an oncoming storm,” Sisolak said in a Tweet.

“The Emergency will allow officials to order cars to head back into the valley until conditions subside and the roadways are safe. This will help prevent motorists from becoming stranded, potentially running out of gas in subfreezing temperatures without emergency services,” a second Tweet stated.

Cars have spent hours stuck in traffic through the city of South Lake Tahoe and Stateline. One person reported the trip from Reno to South Lake Tahoe taking nearly 12 hours.

Employees will still be able to travel to work.

After being closed for several days, Mt. Rose Highway and Interstate 80 eastbound and westbound opened on Tuesday, Dec. 28 at 9:00 p.m., but only to essential commercial trucks and vehicles.

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