Storm pounds Sierra, more expected today | NevadaAppeal.com
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Storm pounds Sierra, more expected today

BRIAN DUGGAN
bduggan@nevadaappeal.com

By BRIAN DUGGAN

bduggan@nevadaappeal.com

While the Sierra received the brunt of the winter storm passing through the region on Wednesday, Carson City was expected to get about one to two inches of snow overnight, said Brian Brong, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

The snow storm forced the closure of U.S. Interstate 80 for several hours on Wednesday as blizzard conditions produced near-zero visibility.

California transportation officials reopened the highway connecting Sacramento and Reno about 4:20 p.m. after closing it for nearly three hours due to spinouts and accidents around Truckee, Calif.

“It’s one of the worst I’ve seen,” said Marty Montez, a trucker hauling medical supplies from Hayward, Calif., to Reno who said he could see no farther than 5 feet ahead of his rig at times.

“I was surprised they let us through, to be honest with you,” he said.

The Lake Tahoe area is expected to get up to 16 inches of snow at lake level and as much as 2 feet in the mountains above 7,000 feet elevation.

More snow showers are expected this afternoon, tapering off after midnight and picking up again Friday after another storm makes its way from the Pacific Ocean, Brong said.

“Saturday and Sunday will probably just be cloudy days,” he said. “It looks like there could be another system moving in sometime early next week.”

In California, the storm produced heavy rain and snow, forcing evacuations of hundreds of homes below wildfire-scarred mountains, shutting a major interstate, knocking out power to thousands and unleashing lightning strikes on two airliners.

Fierce winds howled as forecasters warned of rainfall rates as high as 1 1/2 inches an hour on soil already saturated from two days of wild weather that caused street flooding in coastal cities, spawned a tornado and toppled trees, killing two people.

Even though police officers and sheriff’s deputies were making door-to-door stops, some residents refused to comply with evacuation orders in Los Angeles-area foothill communities below the steep San Gabriel Mountains where 250 square miles of forest burned in a summer wildfire.

Two Southwest Airlines aircraft were struck by lightning Wednesday morning after reaching their arrival gates at Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Two people on one plane reported feeling numb and were taken to a hospital, he said.

The Grapevine stretch of the state’s backbone Interstate 5 was closed due to snow and ice in 4,100-foot-high Tejon Pass north of Los Angeles. Vehicles were to be escorted down by the Highway Patrol.

More than 300,000 Southern California Edison customers had lost power since the beginning of the week. Crews were restoring it to about 13,000 late Wednesday afternoon.

The Associated Press Contributed to this article

“Saturday and Sunday will probably just be cloudy days,” he said. “It looks like there could be another system moving in sometime early next week.”

In California, the storm produced heavy rain and snow, forcing evacuations of hundreds of homes below wildfire-scarred mountains, shutting a major interstate, knocking out power to thousands and unleashing lightning strikes on two airliners.

Fierce winds howled as forecasters warned of rainfall rates as high as 1 1/2 inches an hour on soil already saturated from two days of wild weather that caused street flooding in coastal cities, spawned a tornado and toppled trees, killing two people.

Even though police officers and sheriff’s deputies were making door-to-door stops, some residents refused to comply with evacuation orders in Los Angeles-area foothill communities below the steep San Gabriel Mountains where 250 square miles of forest burned in a summer wildfire.

Two Southwest Airlines aircraft were struck by lightning Wednesday morning after reaching their arrival gates at Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Two people on one plane reported feeling numb and were taken to a hospital, he said.

The Grapevine stretch of the state’s backbone Interstate 5 was closed due to snow and ice in 4,100-foot-high Tejon Pass north of Los Angeles. Vehicles were to be escorted down by the Highway Patrol.

More than 300,000 Southern California Edison customers had lost power since the beginning of the week. Crews were restoring it to about 13,000 late Wednesday afternoon.

The Associated Press Contributed to this article