SAN FRANCISCO (AP) " A search was still under way Sunday afternoon for two missing skiers who were last seen at a Lake Tahoe resort during a storm that dumped up to 2 1/2 feet of snow as winter storms unleashed severe weather across the state.
The skiers spent a stormy night outside after being reported missing Saturday night at the Alpine Meadows resort just north of Lake Tahoe, and more snow was falling Sunday, said Placer County sheriff's Sgt. Allan Carter.
Authorities have not released the names or hometowns of the missing men, ages 32 and 35, but described them as expert skiers.
They were last seen late Saturday morning at a resort bar listening to advice about different outlying areas to ski.
While authorities were unsure where they went, Carter said rescuers were searching a wide area that included the backside of Alpine Meadows on the west side of the Sierra crest outside the ski resort's boundaries.
Carter called the skiers' chances of survival "pretty good" as about 15 members of the Alpine Meadows' ski patrol joined a 10-member sheriff's Nordic team in the search for the skiers.
"If you keep moving and have a positive attitude and know how to construct a snow shelter, you can survive," he said, though a night of heavy snows had covered the skiers' tracks.
A winter storm warning remained in effect through late Sunday afternoon in the Sierra, where up to 6 inches more snow was expected following a night of heavy snows that closed roads across the mountains.
The Boreal ski area atop Donner Summit reported up to 30 inches of new snow, while the Squaw Valley resort and north Lake Tahoe community of Incline Village, Nev., each reported up to 2 feet of new snow.
Elsewhere around Lake Tahoe, avalanche control efforts Sunday forced the closure of Highway 88 over Carson Pass.
Interstate 80 over Donner Summit reopened Sunday morning after being closed overnight due to zero visibility and heavy snow, though chains or snow tires were still required. Snow drifts and poor visibility also were blamed for the closure Sunday of portions of U.S. Highway 395 in Mono County, according to the California Highway Patrol.
South of Reno, Nev., U.S. 395 in Washoe Valley was closed for several hours Sunday morning after about 20 crashes occurred during periods of zero visibility, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Scott Simon said. Slick conditions also caused crashes in Reno.
Pacific Gas and Electric reported power outages for more than 12,000 Northern California customers concentrated in areas hit hard by the snow, including the Sierra foothills and the Yosemite region.
Up to 10 inches of snow fell on Yosemite National Park on Sunday after getting another 8 inches Thursday night. The park's plows could not keep up with the heavy snowfall, forcing the closure of two out of the three main roads into the park Sunday afternoon, said National Park Service spokesman Scott Gediman.
Mammoth Mountain got 18 inches of snow overnight, but there was little enjoying it. High winds forced the resort to close almost the entire mountain in the morning.
Frustrated skiers and snowboarders hoping to at least call get on the road early were stymied by the closure of the main highway out of Mammoth Lakes.
Bryan Costanich, 28, of Los Angeles, and nine friends tried to get out of town early, but their three-car caravan was turned back.
"At places there was a foot of snow on the ground, but near whiteout conditions. There were spots where you couldn't see the car in front of you," Costanich said. "The snow was coming at you sideways."
Like many other weekend visitors, Costanich couldn't extend his stay at the place he rented so he was waiting out the storm with other snowbound drivers in the strip mall restaurants, coffee shops and stores that sit behind 10 foot snowbanks on Main Street.
Not everyone was upset with being stuck in the pine-covered town that sits below some of the Sierra's most scenic peaks.
To the delight of his oldest daughter, Rich Coffey, 43, booked another night at the Holiday Inn rather than drive his family of four back to Dana Point, a beach town in Orange County.
"We grew up in Michigan so for us it's normal, but for them it's special," Coffey said.
With life giving them snow, his 6-year-old daughter, Riley, was hoping to make a snowman.
"She wanted to stay another day, so she got her wish," he said.
Meanwhile, rain and snow began falling on Southern California on Sunday as the region's residents braced themselves for the worst of another winter storm expected to soak lowland areas and coat the mountains with layers of snow.
The morning's light moisture would likely intensify throughout the region in the afternoon, said meteorologist Jamie Meier of the National Weather Service.
Only a tenth of an inch had fallen in the Los Angeles basin, but San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay had already received almost an inch, said Meier.
Jay Rizzo, manager at Three Pines Lodge in Big Bear Lake, said snow was coming down in his mountain resort community about 95 miles east of Los Angeles, but that it was far less intense than last week's storm.
Days of heavy rain and snow last week led to avalanche and traffic deaths, as well as minor floods and landslides.
"It's coming down nice and steady right now but not real heavy," Rizzo said.
A winter storm warning, signaling hazardous driving conditions due to blowing snow, was in effect Sunday for the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains.
Snow levels were expected drop from 5,500 feet to 4,000, meaning up to a foot of snow on ski hills at local resorts.
The snowfall could impact traffic through the Tejon Pass along the Grapevine section of the Interstate 5 freeway. California Highway Patrol often close the stretch of mountainous freeway at the first sign of sticking snow.
Associated Press writers Martin Griffith in Reno, Nev., Brian Melley in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., and Thomas Watkins in Los Angeles contributed to this report.