Snow hits the Sierra |

Snow hits the Sierra

The year’s second snowfall to reach lower elevations fell Tuesday morning, leaving drivers slipping and sliding but causing no serious accidents, law enforcement officials reported.

Several vehicles spun out or were stuck in the snow, including an empty school bus that slid off West Main Street in Grass Valley around 9:15 a.m.

The bus’ plight attracted the attention of another school bus driver, whose vehicle also slipped off the road, said Jerri Cabral, a supervisor for Durham Transportation, which provides bus services.

No students were aboard either bus, and the drivers were not injured, Cabral said.

The mishap capped off a morning of delays for the bus service.

“The buses were running quite late, but we got it done,” Cabral said.

The snowfall, which reached well below 2,500 feet elevation, knocked out power to only 10 Nevada County homes, Pacific Gas and Electric spokeswoman Lisa Randle said.

The Nevada City residences had power restored by Tuesday morning, Randle said.

The two weeks of stormy weather may be coming to an end, at least until Saturday, forecaster Harry Stockman of said.

His prediction shows clearing skies and climbing temperatures, at least until Friday. Another storm could hit western Nevada County next weekend, although low-elevation snow is not expected.

Precipitation for the year is well above average in western Nevada County. Grass Valley is four inches over its average of 22 inches by Jan. 12. Last year at this time, however, almost 28 inches had already fallen.

About 10 inches of rain or snow usually fall in Grass Valley in January, while February averages only eight inches. Each year, Grass Valley gets about 50 inches of precipitation.

At a higher elevation than its sister city, Nevada City receives an average of 58 inches of precipitation per year. About 11 inches usually fall in January, above the nine inch average in February.

For more photos of the snow and problems it created, visit

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