Snow in Tahoe Closes Resorts and I-80, Causes Power Outages

Get ready, because once it's safe to ride again and the lifts start spinning at Tahoe resorts, it's on! Photo credit Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Once the lifts start spinning and it’s safe to ride again, it’s on! Photo credit Kirkwood Mountain Resort

"Power is out across Truckee and town is basically shut down! Crazy, I haven’t seen it snow like this in seven years." That came through in an email earlier today. Much of the lifts at Kirkwood are still buried in snow. I-80 west of Reno was closed for almost two days. People are tunneling in and out of their homes. When this storm eventually passes, the riding in the Eastern Sierra is going to be unbelievable.

A former online editor of ours, Ben Birk, lives in North Lake Tahoe. According to him, "We have hit our tipping point. I-80 has been closed for over two days. The small, local roads are closed due to avy and mudslides. Power is out for 24hr+ to most of north/west and South Lake as all three major power lines are down. Me though? I’m happy as a bug in a zero degree bag. I got my sled full of gas, and seven pounds of shredded chicken. I’m ready. Give us more!”

Falling trees knocked power lines down and about 20,000 homes and businesses in the Tahoe Basin lost power yesterday. Early this morning, power was restored to most buildings in South Lake Tahoe. This afternoon, power was back on for most in North Lake Tahoe. Many are still waiting to have their local lines repaired. The US Postal Service suspended mail service in North Lake Tahoe and as of 5:00 p.m. Tahoe time today there was no update as to when service would be reinstated.

The winter storm warning for the area extends through Thursday. While some struggle to function and others simply try to stay sane through all this winter madness, others are rejoicing about the fun soon to come. After so many years of drought in Tahoe, it’s about time. But for now, it's too much snow for much more than shoveling.

 

While playing the waiting game, you might as well be digging. Photo by Donner Lake resident Steven Benesi

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