A weather system dumping record-breaking snow across the Lake Tahoe region prompted a State of Emergency declaration by Nevada Gov Steve Sisolak on Tuesday, December 28, as authorities closed roads and urged only essential travel.
In South Lake Tahoe, California, City Manager Joe Irvin activated the city’s Emergency Operations Center “to effectively manage the local impacts of the extreme weather and road conditions,” city officials announced on December 28.
This footage from Eloy Sanchez shows conditions in the area that day.
Officials in South Lake Tahoe warned that “anyone on the road risks getting stranded either from the road conditions or running out of fuel or electric charge, requiring emergency or other assistance.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) said Highway 50, which runs south of Lake Tahoe and up its southeast shoreline, near the Nevada border, was “gridlocked with traffic” while Interstate 80 remained closed.
On Tuesday evening, Gov Sisolak issued a State of Emergency in northern Nevada due to “dangerous road conditions” on Highway 50, Highway 207, and Highway 28. Sisolak said the declaration would allow officials to order cars away from the area “until conditions subside and the roadways are safe.” The Nevada Department of Transportation and Nevada State Police later began turning back drivers on routes near Lake Tahoe.
As snowfall continued into Wednesday, Caltrans told drivers to avoid all travel through the Sierra Nevada mountains and “to respect emergency personnel working furiously to improve road conditions in the area.”
The local Caltrans District 3 office said the storm had it “extremely strapped” for resources, and asked people to avoid travel entirely as crews worked “around the clock to keep US-50, I-80 and other mountain highways open.” Credit: Eloy Sanchez via Storyful