Car in snow

Snowstorms Halt Holiday Drivers

One of the biggest struggles through the holiday season revolved around the staff shortages and COVID concerns causing massive cancellations. Airlines announced flight cancellations by the thousands, forcing travelers to miss events or make other plans. Many people elected to drive instead, opting for the solo cabins of automobiles instead of the crowded terminals. Now that holiday celebrations are finished, mother nature has appeared to complicate returning home for 2022. Weather delayed the process as massive snowstorms halt holiday drivers in the Southwest. 

Storms halt Southern California and Nevada drivers

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Greater Lake Tahoe area extending across the Nevada state line. It remains in effect through 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday. The notice warns of, “Additional snow accumulations 15-25 inches in Truckee and South Lake Tahoe, with 2 to 4 feet for mountain areas above 7000 feet. Winds gusting 40 to 60 mph, with gusts well over 100 mph on Sierra ridges. Dangerous blowing and drifting snow with low visibility.”

There’s even an Avalanche Warning in effect for the Greater Lake Tahoe area. Which warns that the strong winds and unstable conditions can possibly lead to large avalanches, both natural and human-triggered. The affected areas include “Central Sierra Nevada Mountains between Yuba Pass (Hwy 49) on the north and Ebbetts Pass (Hwy 4) on the south.”

Storm shuts down freeways

Whiteouts throughout the Sierra region created dangerous conditions for drivers, with low visibility, high winds, and snow. Even on roads not closed, fire departments have been reporting spinouts. For those travelers who must drive, Caltrans requires chains on their tires.

Caltrans announced Sunday the closure of I-80 from Colfax to the Nevada state line all day with no reopening in sight. The state also closed Route 49 from Camptonville to Sierraville. Caltrans reported, Highway 50 is closed from Placerville to Meyers after “multiple spinouts,” with no estimated time of reopening.

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Mark McKee
Mark McKee is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.


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