Storm dumps a foot of snow with more on way, chain controls in effect at Lake Tahoe
Storm update 1:45 p.m. — Chain controls have been lifted in South Lake Tahoe from Meyers through Stateline on U.S. Highway 50 all the way through Spooner Summit and Carson City as snow plows made headway during a break in the storm.
Chain controls remain in effect over Echo Summit on U.S. 50, California State Route 89 from Tahoe Valley until the gate closure just before Emerald Bay, Kingsbury Grade at Stateline and Nevada State Route 28 through Incline Village.
Caltrans was clearing more room on the shoulders of Echo Summit while waiting for more snow to fall.
With a break in this storm, our blowers are out on Highway 50 clearing more shoulder space approaching Echo Summit. More snow and high winds are expected this afternoon, per @NWSSacramento and @NWSReno pic.twitter.com/YAQtmAYThE
— Caltrans District 3 (@CaltransDist3) January 27, 2021
More, heavier snow is expected this afternoon and through the night as the heaviest snow shifts back north, pointed directly at Tahoe, according to a social post from Tahoe Daily Snow.
The moisture streaming towards the Central Sierra has started its shift back towards the north, expected to be pointed at Tahoe tonight. pic.twitter.com/JWpPvABHOH
— Tahoe Weather (@TahoeWeather) January 27, 2021
There have been reports of smoke behind the casinos at Stateline, toward Heavenly Mountain Resort. The smoke is due to prescribed burning by the Zephyr Fire Crew of Tahoe Douglas Fire.
Zephyr crew working on hillside behind casinos toward Heavenly. Smoke is in the air because we care! Getting rid of accumulated dead fuel. https://t.co/JSNEpXLWWo
— Tahoe Douglas Fire (@tahoefire) January 27, 2021
The Lake Tahoe region received about a foot of snow overnight, which has already led to chain controls and road closures Wednesday morning, and there are still two stormy days to come.
Chains and, or, snow tires are required on pretty much all roads around Tahoe and leading to or from the basin. California State Route 89 is closed around Emerald Bay due to avalanche concerns.
The Sierra Avalanche Center says backcountry travel is not advised with “extreme” danger for large and destructive avalanches. An Avalanche Warning is in effect into Friday morning.
The National Weather Service advises against traveling during its Blizzard Warning that is in effect through 4 a.m. Friday morning. The service is expecting at least another foot of snow at lake level and several more feet to the mountains.
Homewood Mountain Resort is reporting 8 inches at its base and a foot of fresh snow at the summit, Northstar California received 11 inches, Sierra-at-Tahoe got 6-10 inches, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has 8 inches, Heavenly and Kirkwood mounts resorts are reporting about a foot and Diamond Peak Resort reported about 10 inches.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe received nearly 2 feet of snow but will stay closed Wednesday due to blizzard conditions.
Further south of Tahoe, Mammoth Mountain, Dodge Ridge and June Lake all reported receiving about 2 feet of snow.
Snowplow drivers will work hard this week trying to keep roads clear, but South Lake Tahoe officials are asking for the public’s help.
“City staff will work hard to keep roads as clear as possible during this winter storm, but we’ll need your help,” said Ray Jarvis, public works director, “Keep anything that could inhibit snow removal teams out of the city right of way. Illegally parked vehicles can hamper snow removal efforts.”
Officials said snow plows have the right of way on streets, and vehicles left unattended in the streets are subject to citation or tow.
The city offered “snow safe” suggestions when snow conditions exist, including
Cars subject to citation or tow are those parked in the street right-of-way. The city right-of-way extends beyond the edge of the pavement to the property line, generally 5 to 10 feet beyond the edge of the pavement.
The primary purpose of snow removal is to clear snow from streets for emergency vehicles, school buses, hospital entry, refuse trucks and all vehicle traffic.
The city is asking that you keep all trash containers behind the berm, on your property. Improper placement of trash containers can result in damaged containers or snow removal equipment. This affects the level of service.
When shoveling snow from your driveway, shovel to the right as you face the street. This way, the plow will move the snow further down the road, rather than move the shoveled snow back into your driveway.
Child safety — please keep children indoors while snow removal operations are underway.
Pedestrian safety — Don’t watch snow removal operations from the edge of the road.
Back off — Keep a safe distance (40-plus feet) when driving/standing behind snow removal equipment.
Slow Down — The maximum speed when chain controls are in effect is 25 mph.
The city’s snow removal phone line is 530-542-6030.
For El Dorado County residents, the snow removal phone number is 530-573-3180.
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As sunny weather heats up and California begins to lift most mask and capacity restrictions, there’s plenty of activities opening up for families to do this Father’s Day weekend.