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'There is snow everywhere.' California storm shuts Interstate 80 in Sierra; I-5 at Redding

Sacramento Bee logoSacramento Bee 11/27/2019 By Mitchel Bobo, The Sacramento Bee

A major “bombogenesis” storm moved into California on Tuesday, creating snowy conditions for motorists at elevations as low as 1,000 feet and snow ahead of Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel times of the year. Here’s what major roadways are closed at 3:30 p.m.

Interstate 5

All lanes of the state’s main north-south artery are closed north of Redding, the California Department of Transportation’s District 2 said at 4 p.m. The agency said in a tweet: “If you are driving on I-5 heading north to Shasta/Siskiyou County, the road is closed at Fawndale Road.” They said taking Highway 299 towards Burney to Highway 89 to get back to I-5 in the Mount Shasta area is “not an option. There is snow everywhere.”

The closure came about five hours after snow began to fall at Yreka, Weed and other spots around 2,500 feet. Snow levels were expected to drop to 1,000 feet or lower in the coming hours.

Meanwhile, Southern California officials have issued a high-wind advisory in Los Angeles County from Highway 126 and Lake Hughes Road on the Grapevine to Laval Road south of Bakersfield in Kern County. Travel is not recommended for campers, trailers or permit loads.

Interstate 80

According to Caltrans, traffic is being turned around at Alta on eastbound Interstate 80 due to multiple spin-outs. Similar conditions are being reported on the westbound side, and westbound traffic is being diverted 7 miles east of Truckee.

“We highly advise delaying travel until Thanksgiving,” Caltrans District 3, which covers the Sacramento area, said in a tweet before 4 p.m.

Big-rig trucks are also being held at Applegate in the west and Truckee in the east.

Highway 50

Roads are not closed yet on Highway 50 in El Dorado County, though chain controls are in effect from Twin Bridges to Meyers.

Other roads that are closed

Highway 4, Alpine County: ½-mile east of Highway 207 at Mt. Reba turnoff to Highway 89.

Highway 88: In east of Silver Lake due to multiple spin-outs, Caltrans District 10 said. Chains are required throughout the roadway in Amador and Alpine counties.

Highway 89: Snow has closed the route south of Highway 50 at Luther Pass in El Dorado County to Highway 395 in Mono County. Chains are required through Plumas County, south of the closure, as well as on the other side of the Sacramento Valley from McCloud to I-5 in Siskiyou County.

Highway 108: 25 miles east of Strawberry in Tuolumne County to Mono County, including through Yosemite National Park.

Highway 120: From Crane Flat to Tioga Pass in Tuolumne and Mono counties.

Where chains are required

Highway 3, Siskiyou County: 6 miles north of Fort Jones to 2 miles south of Interstate 5.

Highway 32: 8 miles east of Forest Ranch in Butte County to Highway 36 in Tehama County.

Highway 36: From Mad River through Forest Glen to Highway 3 in Trinity County, and extending to Platina and Mineral in Shasta County. Chains are also required in the Chester of Plumas County, and in Lassen County from east of Westwood to west of Susanville.

Highway 44, Shasta County: East of Shingletown; from Viola to Old Station and Eskimo Hill; chains are also required on single-axle-powered vehicles towing trailers from the Bogard ranger station to Highway 36.

Highway 70: Highway 89 to Keddie and Butterfly Road to Quincy in Plumas County; big-rigs are prohibited east of Highway 191 to Highway 89.

Highway 96, Siskiyou County: East of Happy Camp.

Driving tips

Caltrans advises that motorists get their vehicle ready for winter travel and long delays.

Make sure tires have ample tread. Haven’t changed your windshield wipers since last year? You’re probably due for new ones.

Carry snow chains that actually fit your wheels, officials urged.

Pack flashlights, blankets, warm clothes, rain and snow gear and food and water.

To help plan your trip in real time, Caltrans says you should download its free Caltrans QuickMap app. The information the app provides on travel conditions, including chain-control locations and road closures – it also can be found at quickmap.dot.ca.gov.

Hourly weather forecasts and storm alerts for specific locations can be found at the National Weather Service forecast center at weather.gov.

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©2019 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

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