RENO — A winter storm dumped a half-foot of snow in just two hours in Northern Nevada on Thursday, closing schools in Reno and triggering dozens of accidents on icy roads that forced the closure of parts of U.S. Interstate 80 for several hours on both the west and east ends of the state.
Eight people were hospitalized with unspecified injuries in an icy pileup involving as many as 20 vehicles that closed the eastbound lanes of I-80 east of Reno-Sparks for four hours near about 24 miles east of the Nevada-California line.
Just south of Reno, approximately 35 vehicles slid into each other in a wreck that closed the northbound lanes of I-580 and a jack-knifed semi-trailer truck blocked part of U.S. Highway 395-Alternate, the Nevada Highway Patrol said. The highway had reopened by 6 p.m., but northbound I-580 was expected to remain closed into Thursday night.
In northeast Nevada, eastbound I-80 was closed for nearly four hours after at least two people were injured in a six-vehicle crash just before noon in the Carlin Tunnels west of Elko about 120 miles (190 km) west of the Utah line.
NHP Trooper Jim Stewart said one victim suffered a possible broken leg but none of the injuries was considered life-threatening.
In the Sierra, chains or snow tires were required throughout the day on I-80 from Truckee to Baxter, California, and on most mountain passes around Reno and Lake Tahoe.
In north-central Nevada, a record 3.6 inches of snow was reported in Winnemucca, breaking the old record of 2.9 inches set in 1919, the National Weather Service said.
Seven inches of snow fell north of Reno in Stead, where 3.5 inches was reported in three hours at Reno-Stead Airport, the National Weather Service said. Five inches was recorded in two hours in nearby Cold Springs during the Thursday morning commute.
School was delayed two hours throughout Washoe County and five schools in Reno canceled classes.
Up to another 6 inches of snow was in the forecast at Lake Tahoe into Thursday night.