Storm update: Poor road conditions, cold temperatures and closures abound

Brian Duggan/Nevada AppealJAC will end its services today at 3:30 p.m. because of the winter storm. JAC Assist will continue as planned.

Brian Duggan/Nevada AppealJAC will end its services today at 3:30 p.m. because of the winter storm. JAC Assist will continue as planned.

The snow storm that slammed Carson City and dumped up to 18 inches of snow will taper off by the evening, bringing low temperatures tonight in the single digits and below zero in the valleys, the National Weather Service reported Monday.

Difficult driving conditions persisted in Carson City this afternoon for most side streets while the city's public works department focused its energy on keeping primary and secondary arteries clear for most drivers.

Ken Arnold, the deputy public works director, said no roads were closed Monday, but urged people to stay at home if possible.

"We've been inundated," Arnold said.

Residential roads likely won't be plowed until Tuesday, he said, adding it's been a challenge to keep the city's primary roads clear throughout the day as an additional five to nine inches of snow accumulated.

"We have to keep the main arterioles open, that's the main priority," Arnold said, adding if people do drive they shoud, "go slow. If you don't have to go anywhere, don't."

Carson City's JAC bus system will shut down today at 3:30 p.m. because of the storm, said Patrick Pittenger, the city transportation manager. He said the JAC Assist, the bus service for the disabled, will continue as scheduled today.

For more information about JAC, call 775-841-RIDE (7433).

Carson City schools also closed for the day.

Up to 3 feet of snow fell at the higher elevations around Lake Tahoe, with up to another 2 feet expected before the day was over, forecasters said.

Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare was operating without any hiccups Monday, said spokeswoman Cheri Glockner, adding many injuries in the emergency room today were people who had slipped in the slick conditions outside.

Gov. Jim Gibbons directed all northern Nevada state offices to close and ordered all nonessential personnel to go home or stay home. Reno city government offices also were closed.

A winter storm warning remained in effect for the Sierra and western Nevada, including the Reno-Carson City areas, until 7 p.m. Monday.

Anywhere from several inches to about a foot of snow blanketed the valleys, and forecasters said another 6 inches to 18 inches were possible before the storm moved out by nightfall.

"There's copious amounts of snowfall across the eastern Sierra and western Nevada," said Scott McGuire, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno. "It will last through mid-afternoon and then slowly start to taper off."

Trooper Chuck Allen with the Nevada Highway Patrol said officers responded to dozens of spin-outs but no major accidents.

The NHP set up a chain control checkpoint on U.S. 395 just north of the city, preventing anyone without chains or four-wheel drive to exit the highway.

"Motorists are going to have to chain up," he said. "Otherwise, we end up with a parking lot."

Travel restrictions were in place across the region, including just about all of Interstate 80 and U.S. 395 in Nevada.

Several flights into and out of Reno-Tahoe International were delayed or canceled.

Forecasters said the snow would be followed by bitter cold temperatures that would turn snow-covered roads into ice. Overnight flows were predicted in the single digits to below zero.

McGuire said a series of systems would effect the region over the next 10 days, though they are too far out to project their significance.

"We are going to remain in an active and colder pattern, there's no question about that," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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