Winter storm blankets Tahoe; Some roads closed, thousands without power

Chains are required almost everywhere in the Lake Tahoe Basin on Tuesday morning.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The cold, winter storm has delivered multiple feet of snow at Lake Tahoe.

The snow has piled up all around the lake. Thousands are without power.

NV Energy is reporting two separate incidents at the lake that has 2,800 customers without power in the Kingsbury area. The estimated time of restoration is about 8:45 a.m., according to the outage map.

Liberty Utilities is reporting 23 separate incidents that has 8,300 customers without power, or 33% of its customers in South Lake Tahoe.

Liberty said utility crews are working on the problems but estimated to restoration has been set.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe stayed closed Monday due to severe weather and are reporting about 4 feet of new snow on Tuesday morning over the last 24 hours and 76 inches, or more than 6 feet, over the past three days.

Mount Rose Highway, SR-431, is closed from Fairview Boulevard to Douglas Fir Drive and Interstate 80 is closed over Donner Summit with no estimated time of reopening, according to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.

The snow cannon was firing early Tuesday morning at the mountainside alongside U.S. Highway 50 for avalanche control on Echo Summit.

A tree was also blocking the westbound lane of US 50 at Smith Flat Road, east of Placerville.

All Incline Village schools have been moved to online distance learning for Tuesday and all classes have been canceled within the Lake Tahoe Unified School District.

“Due to existing and anticipated snow today, Dec. 14, school has been canceled.

Please be safe,” said the district on social media.

Washoe County School District sent a letter to families Monday evening that said the district recently received approval from the Nevada Department of Education that once all three contingency days have been used in a school year, the district could move to distance learning. All schools have already used their three contingency days which are built into the school year calendar for unanticipated school closures due to weather, smoke, or unforeseen circumstances.

Lake Tahoe Community College is closed Tuesday. Final exams scheduled for Tuesday have been moved to Thursday, Dec. 16, said a spokesperson Tuesday morning

The National Weather Service in Reno has a winter storm warning in effect through 10 p.m. Tuesday. The updated warning Tuesday morning says residents at lake level may receive several more inches during the day and the mountains may receive another foot.

Heavenly Mountain Resort is reporting 62 inches, more than 5 feet of new snow in the last 24 hours, Palisades, Alpine Meadows and Homewood Mountain Resort are all reporting receiving 29 inches of new snow.

After this multi-day storm passes, the weather service on Tuesday issued a winter storm watch for another system that goes into effect at 4 p.m. Wednesday and lasts through noon Thursday.

Snow accumulations at lake level could be from 4 to 7 inches with up to a foot possible for above 7,000 feet.

The winds will be strong again with triple digit gusts possible on Sierra ridgetops.

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