A 70-mile stretch of Sierra’s Interstate 80 was shut due to whiteout conditions following the weekend storm that brought Christmas snow to the Tahoe area, SFGATE reported.
The indefinite closure affecting Colfax to the Nevada state line was announced by the Caltrans on Sunday. State Route 49 is also closed to the north, spanning from Camptonville to Sierraville. Caltrans said Highway 50 is shut from Echo Summit to Meyers because of “multiple spinouts.”
Currently, roads all over Sierra are not accessible to drivers due to the danger brought about by snow, high winds, and low visibility.
Spinout reports were raised by fire departments in Truckee and Tahoe over the weekend even on the open roads. Chains are a must if you are going to embark on the roads.
“Wondering why I-80 is currently closed?” said CHP in a tweet the morning of Dec. 25. as they posted a snowy road. “Here’s what I-80 looks like right now.”
395 close to Bowers Mansion in Washoe County, across the Nevada state line, was closed by a 20-car pileup.
The weather conditions were labeled by the Truckee firefighters as “extreme”, as they helped in the accident. Winds are blowing at 50 mph and there is no visibility. At least three individuals were reported injured and brought to the hospital.
Greater Lake Tahoe is under a winter storm morning until Tuesday at 1 a.m. The area could expect heavy snow and wind gusts that can reach 45 mph, with “widespread whiteout conditions,” according to the forecast.
“Travel could be very difficult to impossible. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. Very strong winds could cause extensive tree damage,” the National Weather Service warned. “Roads and highways may be closed for extended periods of time.”
Travel should be avoided as much as possible, the weather service said, as “you could be stuck in your vehicle for many hours.” It told persons who cannot avoid traveling to “prepare for long delays and carry an emergency kit with extra food, water and clothing.”