Carson City keeps moving despite storm

Kurt Hildebrand/Nevada AppealPower poles leaning over on Muller Lane on Friday morning.

Kurt Hildebrand/Nevada AppealPower poles leaning over on Muller Lane on Friday morning.

Carson City residents woke Friday morning to fresh snow and business as usual when it came to schools.

While surrounding counties handed out snow days or late starts, Carson City parents received an automatic call from the school district announcing classes were in session and on schedule.

By the time school was out, however, Gov. Brian Sandoval had called a snow day for non-essential state workers, and Nevada Department of Transportation and Carson City Transportation Department plows were working overtime.

According to Transportation Spokesman Scott Magruder, between 90 and 100 workers were on hand to clear the roads in Western Nevada.

Still, blowing snow and spin outs closed Mount Rose Highway for most of the day.

Strong, snowy wind is being blamed for the toppling of two dozen power poles along Muller Lane that set off power failures throughout the valley and prompted rescue crews to close Highway 395 and Muller Lane late Friday morning.

Highway 395 was reopened around 4:30 p.m., but Muller Lane will remain closed through today as crews continue to install new poles and wire.

The unseasonably cold winter storm dumped more than 2 feet of snow on the mountains above Lake Tahoe on Friday, downing power lines, triggering an avalanche bulletin in the central Sierra and closing parts of Interstate 80 connecting California and Nevada.

Up to 8 inches of snow was expected by early today on the valley floor and more than 3 feet at the higher elevations of the Sierra. Lows were forecast to dip well below zero around Tahoe early Sunday before the cold front was expected to clear off to the southeast.

The National Weather Service said lows Sunday should be in single digits in Reno, Carson City, Fallon and Lovelock - down to minus 10 at Truckee and minus 9 at South Lake Tahoe.

The weather service issued a bulletin early Friday when the Forest Service raised the avalanche threat to "high" throughout the central Sierra. It urged people to stay away from the backcountry where unstable snow made "large destructive avalanches likely" through Saturday morning.

The Nevada and California highway patrols recommended any travel be postponed until today on area highways, including Interstate 80 and Highway 50 over the Sierra.

By noon Friday, 16 inches of snow was reported at lake level at Incline Village, with 17 inches at Mount Rose ski resort southwest of Reno. Nearly 30 inches was recorded at Squaw Valley USA ski resort south of Truckee, Calif.

The weather service said another 12-20 inches of snow was possible by today at lake level, buffeted by winds gusting up to 35 mph and some gusts up to 90 mph over the tops of the Sierra ridge.


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