Learning to live with snow at 7,000 ft

Serene Lake, near Truckee, Calif. How it is different living at 7,000 feet with near-record snowfall.
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 3:17 PM PDT
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SODA SPRINGS, Calif. (KOLO) - Residents of Serene Lakes like to say they live at approximately 7,000 feet. And this winter it shows. When you drive through the neighborhoods with walls of snow covering street signs, it’s like going through a maze. It’s disorienting. Looking for an address? Good luck. Some are apparent, others not so much.

We caught up with resident Pam Goodley walking her dog, Hudson. She’s well aware of how much snow they received.

Her measuring stick is useless at this point.

“Official records were kept in 1946,” she says. “And the largest one was in 1952-53. With the snowfall forecast for Sunday, we are in the number three spot right now. We will jump to number 2 because we only have 3 inches to go.”

Goodley says private snow removal companies have worked their tails off this winter.

At her home, the deck is barely able to hold the weight of the snow. Her driveway, although clear, has mountains of snow on both sides. Look around, many homeowners are looking at what she’s looking at. Feet of snow. There’s been some rain, followed by a freeze, some ice, and some snow again.

“There’s a lot to learn living in the winter,” says Goodley. “The tools that you need as far as the ice. The right shovels, the right snow blowers. How to get to the snow as soon as the snowplow comes. Get out as soon as possible before it freezes so you can shovel the berms.”

She says many Truckee residents have claimed they won’t live up here.

She’s invited friends to visit to ski or snowshoe. That invitation has extended well into June or even July. It’s exciting, she says, to be living in a time that will go down in the weather history books.

Pam says residents will wait for a substantial snow melt and then the scramble will begin. Repairing roofs and decks, replacing windows, and having driveways repaved.

That’s because you don’t know what next winter will bring.