Storm closes schools again, clogs roads, more coming – Reader photo gallery included
There will be a lull between storms today but another one will hit tonight, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
That break is likely welcome news this morning after the area’s third snowstorm of the season had traffic officials advising western Nevada County residents to stay home Friday.
California Highway Patrol Officer Earl Cummins reported up to 30 minor accidents occurred throughout western Nevada County involving people driving without four-wheel drive or chains.
“We went from crash to crash, vehicle blocking to vehicle blocking all day out there,” he said. “It was the people ignoring signs for four-wheel drive and chain control.”
Cummins said several of the crashes, all of which were non-injury, were concentrated at the Brunswick Road offramp, where motorists hit ice and slammed on their brakes.
“We were shutting and opening that all day,” he said. “Slow down and obey the signs for chain control and four-wheel drive and don’t hit your brakes. When you do that, you start sliding.”
By late morning, the CHP was reporting collisions at Woodbury Drive at Dog Bar Road. Earlier wrecks had been reported at East Bennett Road at Cordell Court, Red Dog at Pasquale roads, Highway 49 at Cherry Creek Road and Alta Sierra Drive at Ball Road. An injury accident was reported on North Bloomfield at Graniteville roads.
An ambulance was reported blocking a lane of northbound Highway 49 at Independence Trail, the CHP reported.
A motorist on Scotts Valley Road reported a group of people who appeared stranded at 9:10 a.m. When deputies arrived, they arrested one person for possession of a controlled substance and another for violating parole, county Sheriff Keith Royal said.
“We’re out there to assist motorists that have issues with the snow and to assist the CHP,” Royal said. “But for us, there have been no major issues.”
Chains were required on Highway 20, generally starting east of Nevada City. On Highway 49, drivers were having problems between Alta Sierra and Little Valley Road and again to Patricia Way, CHP Sgt. Dee Lavrador said.
On Highway 174, drivers were having trouble between Burma Road and Wood Rose Way. An accident there had been cleared earlier in the morning, Lavrador said.
In Grass Valley, Idaho-Maryland Road was closed between Brunswick Road and Sutton Way. Alta Street and Alta Vista was closed at the big hill. Calls came into the city police department about multiple spinouts on Freeman Lane and fender-bender on Alta Street.
On Ridge Road, several vehicles spun out, plowing into embankments or skidding into other cars at various points near Nevada Union High School, Grass Valley Police Capt. Dave Remillard said. The wrecks were cleared by police and Public Works.
Caltrans had crews plowing snow and spreading sand on Highways 49 and 20 throughout the morning. Nevada County snowplows also were working on county roads, but were having trouble keeping up with the snowfall.
By late afternoon Friday, Cascade Shores had received 25 inches of new snow from Thursday and Friday’s storms.
“The snow was a lot mushier today and harder to shovel,” said weather watcher Giovanni Paredes.
At the Nevada City Water Treatment plant, 11 inches fell over the two days. In North San Juan, 5 inches fell in the storms, according to Lynn Jackson.
In Washington, Ray Kraush reported 8 inches of snow for the two days. In Chicago Park, Linda Compton 7 inches had fallen in the tandem storms. At Lake of the Pines snow fell Friday morning for three hours, but it was all gone by the end of the day, according to Jennifer McCown at Lake of the Pines Florist shop.
In Penn Valley, Barbara Faletti at the fire department said only a trace of snow fell Thursday followed by several inches Friday, which quickly melted.
According to Harry Stockman at the Qwikcast.com weather service, the next storm will continue into Monday. That storm will probably be a little warmer and raise snow levels to 3,000 feet, which likely means rain for the foothills.
Even more storms are expected to follow next week, Stockman said.
According to the National Weather Service, there will be a chance of rain Tuesday and Wednesday, changing to a chance for snow on March 9-10.
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