Winter Weather Hits Sierra Late in Season

GRASS VALLEY -- It's not that snow in the Grass Valley - Nevada City area is uncommon. It happens every winter.

It's that this winter weather is happening just days before spring.

"Winter just hit us. It's like, 'Warm, warm, warm. Oh cool, no winter,'" Liberty Rangel, of Nevada City, told FOX40. "And then all of the sudden, 'Hey, it's winter.'"

As rain and snow alternated through the day in the foothills, it wasn't much of an impediment for drivers.

"Got a couple errands and a night class at the studio. And just kinda depends on the roads, if it starts sticking or not," Grass Valley resident Chris Hoolet said. "Hopefully if it keeps melting like this, everyone gets home safe tonight."

Further up the hill, higher into the Sierra, it was a different story. Near white-out conditions, traffic breaks and chain controls dominated the drive on Interstate 80.

Colfax was a hurdle for those headed up the hill, but a bit of relief for those headed down Thursday evening.

"The powder was awesome. The riding was awesome but the traffic back was almost unbearable," Colleen Petit, who spent the day at Sugar Bowl, told FOX40. "I haven't been that frustrated in a while. I was stopped on the 80 and not moving for an hour."

Her rough road trip was at least tied to something fun.

The Stevahns had no choice about driving in this storm. They were headed to a funeral in Sacramento from Montana and were running out of gas in Colfax.

They hit Reno at 3:40 in the afternoon but didn't get to Colfax until almost 8 p.m.

"We were stopped on a hill for 45 minutes the first time, right out of Reno," Jim Stevahn said.

This latest storm has left everyone feeling pretty much the same way.

"I'm exhausted. I'm wiped from that drive home," said Petit.