Powerful blizzard dumps more than 10 feet of snow on California, disrupting traffic


A strong blizzard is blasting through California, bringing wind gusts exceeding speeds of 190 mph and dumping over 10 feet of snow, leaving drivers stuck on the roads and forcing closures of ski resorts. 

Snow dumps will intensify at higher elevations as the Northern Sierra Nevada area is expected to get 7 to 12 inches of snow accumulations at lower elevations and 18 to 24 inches at higher elevations, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The visibility will be at one-quarter mile or less. 

The busy Interstate 80, which connects Lake Tahoe and San Francisco, is closed due to the storm. 

“At one point, emergency personnel and tow trucks had a difficult time getting to motorists due to blizzard conditions,” the California Highway Patrol posted Saturday morning on X, formerly known as Twitter. The patrol is advising residents to stay at home. 

Troopers are working Saturday to clear the road with vehicles plowed on the motorway after drivers left them to get to a safe location. 

NWS warned that gusty winds and heavy snow can cause power outages and tree damage. 

Lake Tahoe’s Palisades Ski Resort is experiencing strong winds, as one wind gust was recorded at 190 mph Friday night. 

The storm, which prompted a blizzard warning across 300 miles, began hitting the region on Saturday. Heavy snowfall rates will continue through Sunday morning surpassing two inches per hour at times, according to NWS.  

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