Storm: Good news for skiers, bad for drivers
November 26, 2006
RENO – A powerful storm dropped snow in the Sierra Nevada, bringing frustration to Thanksgiving holiday travelers but joy to skiers.
Chains were mandatory Sunday on two major highways linking Sacramento to ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area: Interstate 80 over Donner Summit and U.S. 50 over Echo Summit.
Greg Schiessl, a California Highway Patrol dispatcher in Truckee, Calif., said motorists faced major delays after I-80’s westbound lanes over Donner Summit were shut down for an hour late Sunday morning by two non-injury accidents.
“It backed up (westbound) traffic at Truckee for five miles,” he said. “It’s super slow going because of all the holiday traffic.”
The National Weather Service has issued a snow advisory for Carson City for 4-10 a.m. this morning. Today, snow then scattered snow showers are predicted with an accumulation 1 inch, with winds gusting to 31 mph and a high of 41 degrees. Tonight, it will be partly cloudy with isolated snow showers and an accumulation of 1 inch and a low of 15.
The Boreal ski resort atop Donner Summit reported 5 inches of new snow by late Sunday afternoon.
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The Weather Service was calling for the storm to drop up to 18 inches of snow on higher elevations around Lake Tahoe by Tuesday.
“It’s snowing hard, and we’re loving it,” Boreal spokesman Jon Slaughter said. “There’s a buzz in the air that winter is finally here.”
Two of Boreal’s nine lifts were in operation Sunday, and the resort hoped to open at least two more after the storm, Slaughter said.
Heavenly and Kirkwood ski resorts opened over the holiday weekend with limited operations.
Winter-like weather has been slow to arrive in the Sierra, and other resort operators were hoping the storm would allow them to open for the season.
The storm also was expected to bring up to 12 inches of snow to towns around Lake Tahoe and 2 inches of snow to Reno, according to the weather service.