While areas in the valley and lower foothills are experiencing sunlight and patches of blue sky Sunday morning, Mother Nature’s fury continues in the Sierra. As of Sunday morning, Interstate 80 remained closed and Highway 50 was shut down for a period shortly after 9:30 a.m. when a snowslide came down, burying a large section of the roadway on the summit, as well as multiple spinouts near the area of Kyburz.


Prior to the snowslide which is reportedly near Echo Summit, Highway was open with chains required on all vehicles except 4-wheel-drive vehicles with snow tires on all 4 wheels from 3 mi east of Placerville to Meyers. At this time, it is unknown if, and how many motorists that were attempting the route are now stopped at the slide area that is reportedly on the eastern side of the pass. The City of South Lake Tahoe reported the closure at 9:40 am.

Although they hoped to open on Sunday, the operators of Sierra at Tahoe Ski Resort announced early Sunday morning that they would remain closed throughout the day on Sunday with hopes of resuming operations on Monday. Staff remained on site around the clock, continually working to clear roadway access to the facility as the snow continued to pile up overnight. 


On the other side of the mountain, Interstate 80 remains closed at Colfax with no estimated time of reopening. Caltrans continues to perform snow removal operations over the pass. Many areas are still seeing white out conditions. 

According to the Sacramento office of the National Weather Service on Sunday, a blizzard warning remains in effect until midnight Sunday for the West Slope of the Northern Sierra Nevada including Interstate 80 and Highway 50.


The NWS reports that travel would be extremely dangerous to impossible from blizzard conditions through this evening  Additional snow accumulations of 1 to 2 feet above 4000 feet are expected. Winds gusting as high as 40 to 60 mph across the higher elevations are also expected to continue.

In addition to the blizzard warning, a Winter Storm Warning will go into effect for the higher elevations from midnight tonight until 4 a.m. on Wednesday. The NWS urges travel be avoided at this time and in the days ahead if possible.

Travel should be restricted to emergencies only. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded,stay with your vehicle,” reads a warning by the NWS.  “If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.”


Although the sun emerged Sunday morning at the lower elevations, rain is expected to return to the valley later today. Showers, with thunderstorms possible are expected locally after 4 p.m. New rainfall amounts are estimated to be between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.Sunday night will bring an additional chance of showers and thunderstorms. 

Activity is expected to taper off Monday with a 30 percent chance of showers, mainly after 4pm. Additional wet weather is expected to move into the region later this week. 


For updated highway conditions, travelers are urged to check the Caltrans Highway Conditions website HERE. You can also call 1-800-427-7623 for current highway conditions.

This is a developing story, updates will follow this report throughout the day.

10:55 a.m. update: Roadway remains closed 1.5 miles west of Kyburz due to multiple spinouts, excess snow.

12:16 p.m. update: Roadway has been cleared, chains are required on all vehicles except 4-wheel-drive vehicles with snow tires on all 4 wheels from 1 mi west of Kyburz to Meyers (El Dorado Co)

Photo: Operators of Sierra at Tahoe work around the clock to remove snow on the access road to the resort which will remain closed through Sunday. (Sierra at Tahoe)

Breaking News
Author: Breaking News