Storm prep: Businesses, residents scramble to remove snow, bag sand |

Storm prep: Businesses, residents scramble to remove snow, bag sand

Locals attempt to snowplow a roof.
Ashleigh Goodwin Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — There was a mad scramble Thursday to remove snow from rooftops and bag sand to prepare for the atmospheric river event that’s taking aim at the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Some businesses were asked not to open Thursday for snow removal. All businesses that face Emerald Bay Road/U.S. Highway 50 at the South ‘Y’ Center were closed and heavy equipment was staged to begin clearing the heavy snow load.

Property manager of the shopping center, Marcus Clark, told the Tribune heavy equipment would be used to clear the snow from the rooftops.

“We asked the businesses not to open,” said Clark, explaining that it’s not safe to have people walking along the sidewalk as crews worked. 

Phil Trella, of Trella Tahoe Snow Removal, said he was unsure of how long it would take but said it was a concern of safety for individuals walking under the eaves that led to the request of business closures. 

Kmart covered in snow March 2023.
Ashleigh Goodwin Tahoe Daily Tribune

Many are taking advice from announcements made by multiple agencies, including the city of South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County and Southwest Gas, to clear snow loads from not only roofs but utilities as well. 

Sue Quinn, a 21-year resident of the Tahoe Valley neighborhood, said she hadn’t hired anyone to clear her roof which has between 2-3 feet of snow. 

Others residents are taking whatever measures they can, some even have hauled their snowblowers onto their roofs.

“We have four guys out here, we charge approximately $2,800,” Gilbert Martinez of GM Outdoor Maintenance & Snow Removal told the Tribune. 

The South Lake Tahoe small business works year-round within the city limits, to remove snow in winter and maintenance landscaping, including spring and fall cleanups. 

Service Station Systems, Inc., is yet another company taking action before the anticipated rain has a chance to cause damage to the Safeway gas pumps on Lake Tahoe Boulevard. The company closed the pumps for approximately three hours while work was completed.

Safeway gas station closed for snow removal.
Ashleigh Goodwin Tahoe Daily Tribune

The National Weather Service has a winter storm warning and flood watch in effect. Both expire late Saturday morning. The basin is expected to receive copious amounts rain and up to 6 feet of heavy snow above 6,500 feet.

Dozens were wrestling for spots to fill sandbags Thursday afternoon at the South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue station in Tahoe Valley. SLTFR offered free sand and bags and shovels to use and residents were taking advantage.

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