Due to US Storm, Massive Blizzard Hits California and Nevada

The weekend blizzard that hit California and Nevada is forecasted to persist until at least Tuesday, bringing more snow. The snowstorm has caused the closure of major roads and ski resorts in two states, leaving thousands without power.

The situation was particularly intense in California’s mountainous Sierra Nevada region, where wind gusts reached over 180mph (289km/h). Winter storm alerts were active in four states on Monday.

The states included California, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. People in the Sierra Nevada range were alerted to a significant avalanche risk, especially in the Lake Tahoe region. The Sierra Avalanche Center reported that certain areas were hit with more than 8 feet of snow during the weekend storm.

Snow was forecasted in northern Trinity County, California until midday Tuesday, with a predicted accumulation of 4-14 inches. Residents in the Sacramento area were advised of challenging travel conditions from Monday to Wednesday because of strong winds, heavy snowfall, and fallen tree branches.

On Saturday, trees blocked Highway 89 near Palisades Tahoe due to falling across power lines, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. Many trucks were stranded and cars were spinning out of control. Parts of the Tahoe Basin saw over 7 feet of snow, while Tahoe City got more than four feet.

A 75-mile (121km) section of Interstate 80 was shut down over the weekend and some parts are still closed on Monday morning. The California Highway Patrol Office in Truckee, near the Nevada border, reported on X, previously known as Twitter, that “emergency personnel and tow trucks faced challenges reaching motorists because of blizzard conditions”.

Interstate 80 reopened later on Monday, but cars must use tire chains because of the icy conditions over Donner Pass. During the peak overnight from Saturday to Sunday, a power outage map indicated that almost 15,000 customers in California and over 1,000 in Nevada were experiencing a loss of power.

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The storm caused the most damage in the mountain regions. Multiple ski resorts by the lake were closed on Friday and stayed shut through Saturday and Sunday. “It’s snowing heavily, very windy, and power is out to approximately half the town,” Thomas Petkanas, a bartender at Alibi Ale Works in Incline Village, near Lake Tahoe, reported to the Associated Press news agency over the phone. “We are one of the few places open today,” he mentioned.

Yosemite National Park in California shut down on Friday, with visitors instructed to depart by midday. The park announced on Instagram that it started to reopen on Sunday afternoon, with additional sections scheduled to reopen at noon on Monday, pending favorable conditions.

Weather forecasters advised people to stay put during the weekend, cautioning that it might be difficult to rescue commuters trapped in the snowstorm. Extreme weather is also affecting other regions in the US. Wildfires are currently spreading in Texas, with firefighters facing challenges in controlling the large blaze due to harsh weather conditions.

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