Storm Brings Highway Closures, Delays

Another winter storm brought more snow and traffic delays on Friday to portions of northern Nevada.

The Boreal and Soda Springs ski resorts atop California's Donner Summit each reported 12 to 14 inches of new snow over a 24-hour
period ending Friday morning.

That's on top of more than 7 feet of snow that some Lake Tahoe resorts had reported over a 10-day period before the latest storm hit the region Thursday.

"We've had 10 consecutive days of snowfall and it just keeps on coming," said Andy Chapman, tourism director of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.

Chains were mandatory Friday morning on two major trans-Sierra highways: Interstate 80 over Donner Summit and Highway 88 over Carson Pass.

To the east in northern Nevada, chains or snow tires were required on long portions of I-80 in Elko County and on U.S. 50 near Austin and Eureka.

U.S. Highway 395 was reopened Friday morning through Washoe Valley north of Carson City after being closed for about six hours overnight due to hazardous conditions, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Scott Simon said.

Motorists were slowly escorted through the valley by authorities after the highway reopened at about 7 a.m. Chains or snow tires were required.

Simon said the highway was closed through the valley early Friday after about 25 vehicles slid off the roadway. "The conditions were real ugly," he said.

A winter storm watch has been posted from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon around Lake Tahoe, where more snow was
expected before a break in the storms Monday and Tuesday.

While motorists cursed, skiers and snowboarders rejoiced over the snow. "Ask any skier and snowboarder and they'll tell you it's the
light, fluffy stuff - pure Tahoe powder," Chapman said.

The string of storms had brought the snowpack in the northern Sierra up to 123 percent of average for the date as of Thursday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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