Fresh Powder Creates a White Christmas Eve in the Sierra

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A new layer of snow was an early present for those dreaming of white Christmas in the Sierra.

"It's nice to see all the trees covered in snow again," said Gold Run resident Carson Richmond.

But in some places, it was too white.

Parts of I-80 were shut down, causing a traffic nightmare for eager travelers like Miguel Ochoa.

He was trying to make it to Reno by the evening.

"We've been waiting for the road to clear.  We were driving about an hour ago, and they closed it," Ochoa said.

He and dozens of others were stuck behind a long line of brake lights near Baxter.

"A little sad that they delayed, we're going to visit my sister in Reno," Ochoa said.

But before drivers could get to that point, many faced another challenge: chains.

Some generous strangers helped each other out and shared a hug during their long journeys.

For little ones like 5-year-old Alyssa Chen, there was no stress, just excitement to see snow.

She and her family are visiting from Tampa, Florida.

"Build a snowman," that's what Chen said she wanted to do.

Like so many other travelers, the Chens were just hoping to get through the traffic in time to enjoy Christmas Eve.