Adding to the gloom of Thursday's all-day rain, power lines at the corner of Muller Lane and Foothill Road in Carson Valley broke, cutting off power to an estimated 2,300 customers, according to Karl Walquist, spokesman for Sierra Pacific Power Co.
The outage primarily affected residents west of Highway 88 along Foothill Road, in addition to those on Tamarac, Mahogany and Westwood drives in Minden, Walquist said.
"The line just came down and we're not certain what caused that," Walquist said. "But we're repairing the damage and we expect to have service back by 12:30 (p.m.)."
Heavy winds gusting to 80 mph closed the gondola and the ski runs at Heavenly Mountain Resort just one day after they opened, but officials there were anything but pessimistic.
"With this storm, we're expecting another 18 to 30 inches of snow," said Russ Pecoraro, Heavenly communications director. "We have mid-winter conditions right now and we're looking forward to a great season."
Heavenly should be open again today, Pecoraro said.
High-wind warnings were issued along Highway 395 through Washoe Valley. Rain and wind closed Highway 95A nine miles north of Schurz to Schurz and Highway 95 from Fallon to Hawthorne.
Warm subtropical air merging with a low pressure system from Alaska has created the storm, bringing rain to the valleys. Snow will be falling above the 7,000-foot level during the day and dropping to Lake level overnight.
Unstable weather is expected to continue today, with temperatures dropping as the cold front moves in. Snow levels are expected to drop to 5,000 feet, said Jessica Kielhorn, meteorologist technician with the National Weather Service.
"By Friday night, the forecast is for partly cloudy weather," she said.
The weather will be unstable through Saturday, but by early next week it should be partly cloudy with no precipitation in the forecast, Kielhorn said.
"This is a normal storm pattern for this time of year and the next chance for a storm will be Friday and Saturday of next week," she said.
n Susie Vasquez can be reached at email@example.com or 782-5121, ext. 211.