Weather impact: I-580 back open in Washoe Valley; state workers sent home; WNC cancels classes
December 3, 2013
At about 3:40 p.m., the Nevada Highway Patrol re-opened I-580 through Washoe Valley.
For current road conditions visit http://nvroads.com.
The current forecast calls for the snow to stop by 5 p.m. this afternoon.
At about 3:20 p.m., the Nevada Highway Patrol closed I-580 through Washoe Valley due to heavy snow.
Gov. Brian Sandoval called a snow day Tuesday because of heavy accumulations of snow in western Nevada.
The decision sent home all non-essential state workers in Reno and Carson City, giving them the afternoon off.
Essential workers including corrections officers, Nevada Highway Patrol and emergency crews such as snowplow operators remain on duty despite the snow.
Also still on duty were key members of the governor's staff at the Capitol.
Western Nevada College Carson City and Douglas campuses will close at 4 p.m. today due to icy road conditions. The Fallon campus will remain open.
Sgt. Scott McDaniel of the Carson City Sheriff's Office said that with the rain and snow, come cold temperatures and black ice. He urged drivers to slow down and prepare for the unexpected.
Numerous accidents and spinouts have been reported.
Despite the steady snowfall, school will remain on its regular schedule today, said Carson City School District Superintendent Richard Stokes.
"We have no plans to alter the school day," he said. "The kids are inside. They're safe. To change any plans now would cause hardships for parents and after-school care."
He said chains have been installed on all school bus tires for the commute home.
Neighboring Washoe County called for early releases at all schools except those in Incline Village. Snow is expected to continue to fall overnight.
"We'll re-evaluate things over the evening to make decisions about tomorrow," Stokes said.
Information about school closures or delays will be posted at carsoncityschools.com.
RENO, Nev. (AP) — A winter storm dumped up to 5 inches of snow on the Reno area Tuesday, snarling city streets during the morning commute and slowing Interstate 80 traffic over the Sierra as the system moved across the northern half of Nevada.
A winter storm warning remained in effect for the region through 4 p.m. Tuesday, when most of the snow was expected to end. But cold weather was expected to continue through the week with lows dropping to single digits in the north and into the 20s in Las Vegas, where some snow is possible by weekend.
Truckee Meadows Community College suspended classes and Washoe County school students were being sent home early on Tuesday to help ease evening traffic congestion as streets slicken in sub-freezing temperatures.
Dozens of accidents included one involving a Nevada Highway Patrol cruiser and another with a school bus, but no injuries were reported.
More than 8 inches of snow was reported in the foothills above Sparks, 7 inches in Cold Springs north of Reno and 3.5 inches in Fernley about 30 miles east on I-80.
Heavy snow started about 8 a.m. and surprised commuters how fast it started to accumulate.
Reno's 14 snowplow crews were working overtime in two 12-hour shifts to try to clear the roads.
"It's our first storm so we just have to retrain everybody to slow down, take their time, leave a little early and if you don't have to go out, wait until the storm passes," said Marnell Heinz, the city's maintenance and operations manager for public works.
At one point, traffic was backed up for more than a mile on North McCarran Boulevard to the I-80 interchange.
Chains or snow tires were required on I-80 from the Nevada-California line to Truckee, Calif., as well as at the south end of Lake Tahoe on U.S. 50 from South Lake Tahoe to Twin Bridges and on California 89 from Bliss State Park to Monitor Pass. California 89 was closed from Monitor Pass to the junction of U.S. 395.
In southern Nevada, daytime highs will be cold enough to approach records, but the nighttime lows will be "nothing really extraordinary," according to National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Stachelski.
Sensitive plants could suffer, and pipes could freeze. Fire officials were sending out safety tips Tuesday to desert-dwellers less accustomed to the chill. "It gets cold every winter, but people try to live like it's 100 degrees year-round," Stachelski said.
A little snow is expected north of Las Vegas in Lincoln County, and at Mt. Charleston. The Las Vegas valley might even see snow on Saturday, although Stachelski said it's hard to tell how much.