Northern Nevada slammed by heavy snow storm |

Northern Nevada slammed by heavy snow storm

14-year-old DHS student Brooklyn Smith enjoys the snowday Friday morning at a park in Indian Hills.
Brad Coman/Nevada Appeal |

A massive winter storm closed roads and schools across western Nevada on Friday, dumping a foot or more of wet snow in Truckee Meadows, Carson City and Douglas County.

State government was put on a two-hour delay as were University of Nevada classes.

The high Sierra received even more snow than the valleys, boosting what just a month ago was an anemic snowpack to a healthy amount for the coming spring and summer.

Snow fell pretty much through Thursday night and into Friday afternoon, causing numerous, mostly minor, wrecks.

“It was just insane,” said NHP Trooper Matt McLaughlin. “We had just dozens of crashes and slideoffs of the road.”

McLaughlin said, however, he doesn’t think any of those wrecks resulted in life threatening injuries. Just a lot of bent metal and work for NHP, Washoe, Reno and Sparks officers.

Sheriff Ken Furlong said Carson City was largely spared the wrecks, recording just “a few fender benders.”

He said, however, there were a number of mental health calls as the homeless moved into area fast food restaurants and other businesses, causing some problems and making customers fearful.

He said Carson’s public works department was working hard to clear the roadways in town.

Evan LaGuardia of the National Weather Service said there was 13 inches of the white stuff in Carson City, 10.3 inches at the Reno airport and upward of two feet of snow in the upper elevations. While western Nevada was hit with heavy snow, LaGuardia said there was only a trace in Fallon and other communities to the east. The storm was expected to taper off this evening with just spotty showers into the weekend.

But LaGuardia said the winter is far from finished this year, that another storm is coming in next week that could dump another two to three feet of snow on the mountains between Tuesday and next Friday.

McLaughlin emphasized nearly all the crashes are avoidable, primarily caused by driving too fast and following too close.

All surrounding highways were suffering form the weather. Interstate 80 was closed a large part of the day from Placer County to the Nevada line and listed as requiring chains or snow tires for most of the rest of the way between Sacramento and Reno. Chains or snow tires were also mandatory on Highways 88 and 89 and parts of Highway 50 among other roads.