Lake Tahoe pummeled with snow creating traffic dilemma for Central Valley visitors

Local News

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE)- Visitors from the Central Valley going to Lake Tahoe were caught in a snowstorm snarling traffic on Highway 50, the route that most visitors take coming from Fresno.

According to the National Weather Service, this severe winter storm brought heavy rain, snow, and potentially damaging winds. Officials say recent wildfire burn scars are at the highest risk for flash flooding and debris flows.

Travelers on Highway 50 were caught in several hours of traffic Sunday because of a rockslide in the area.

Caltrans officials say the leftover boulders will need to be “blasted” to clear out the roadway, however, Highway 50 has since reopened.

“Expect some travel delays because they are gonna need to get rid of some of those larger rocks,” says Raquel Borrayo, a spokesperson with Caltrans.

Visitors were caught by surprise as some found their cars buried in knee-deep snow.

“I’ve never been to Tahoe and I wasn’t expecting it to snow like this, kinda feels like we skipped from summer to winter,” says Sonal Vade who visited Tahoe with her friends from Sacramento.

The heavy snow is replacing what’s left behind of the Caldor Fire that burned in August. South Lake Tahoe was under a two-week-long evacuation order because of the fire. However, residents including General Manager of Forest Suites Resort, Jeremy Bindel says the snow is a welcoming sight.

Snowman built with fresh snow at Lake Tahoe

“We need visitors to come and the snow is here, so come on out,” says Bindel.

Bindel says during the evacuation orders, he kept the resort doors open for fire personnel, emergency staff, and first responders battling the Caldor Fire.

“We were able to help out and support wherever we could, and we only had a skeleton staff at the time.”

To see the latest road conditions and closures, click here.

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