Major snowstorm and high winds cut 111-mile stretch of California highway in Sierras
| Today Headlines | News Today
A blizzard with winds of up to 100 mph in the Sierras shut down a 111-mile stretch of a California highway on Sunday, spoiling skiing and vacation travel.
Highway 50 from Placerville to Meyers in Northern California was closed with “no estimated reopening time“Caltrans officials have warned.
Meanwhile, a 70-mile stretch of Interstate 80, which was closed on Christmas Day, also remained closed Sunday from Colfax, in north-central California to the Nevada border due to the “zero visibility” caused by the storm, officials said.
Caltrans officials have released a brief video to show the unsafe conditions on I-80.
The California Highway Patrol also released a video on the white of the I-80 on Saturday.
The two freeways are the primary routes between the ski resorts on Lake Tahoe near the Nevada border and the San Francisco Bay Area. Other sections of national roads were also closed, along with a number of ski resorts.
At the Reno, Nevada border, weather officials warned in a tweet on Sunday, “If you have the luxury of staying home and not having to drive today, take advantage of it. Currently gusting to 52 mph and a 6 degree wind chill in the office. It’s very icy with dangerous driving conditions.
A 20-car pile-up in Nevada shut down Highway 395 in Washoe County on Sunday. California firefighters witnessing the accident called “weather conditions”extreme. ”
The National Weather Service issued a continuous winter storm warning for the Sierra Nevada on Sunday until Tuesday morning with “difficult to impossible travel conditions.” Meteorologists have predicted as much as eight feet of snow on the mountains around this time.
Travelers have been advised to bring tire chains, warm winter clothing, and extra food and water.
Although dangerous, the snow is good news for California’s long drought. The state had its driest year in October in almost a century.
The snowpack in the Sierra was at dangerously low levels, but the state’s water resources department reported on Friday it was between 114% and 137% of normal across the range with more snow expected .
In other bad news in the state, Highway 1 in Southern California was closed due to a landslide.
Breaking News Updates Local news Major snowstorm and high winds cut 111-mile stretch of California highway in Sierras