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Low Snowfall Causes School Closures, Prompts Chain Controls

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After a long night of snowfall along Highway 50, road conditions caused a number of complications and forced schools in the Sierra foothills to close or delay their start times Monday.

If you live in the Sierra Foothills, chain control stops are second nature. If you're coming from St. Louis, like Britt Kennedy and his daughter Charlotte, the guys in the orange Caltrans jumpsuits might take you by surprise.

"Didn't know about the chains, we heard about it early this morning,” said Kennedy.

They were among the drivers that started along Highway 50 this afternoon, clear with almost no snow on the road.  Most of it melted away by mid-afternoon.

Until they hit Twin Bridges, that is, closer to the Sierra, where chains were back in effect.

"We're going to end up going back to the store, buying chains and get them to install them,” said Kennedy.

"Spinouts, accidents, vehicles stuck in the snow,” Quinn Cuthbertson with CHP Placerville said when describing the early Monday morning period, when he says CHP was inundated with calls.  Luckily it slowed down in the afternoon, but the snow continued to fall.

"Calls for services haven’t been as great, that being said, you never know what you're driving into,” Cuthbertson said.

The National Weather Service says some areas along Highway 50 got 14 inches of snow over the weekend.

The snowfall and road conditions this morning prompted some schools in the foothills to close or delay their start times.

"3:30, 4 in the morning, got quite a bit of snow very quickly. That's when we had to get on top of it,” said Sean Martin, with the Pollock Pines School District.

As the snowfall continued on and off, drivers hoped to enjoy the best of it.

"It's beautiful seeing this part of the country,” said Kennedy. And they hoped to avoid the hazards.