Avalanche Closes Highway Near Tahoe, Caves Roof

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — Heavy snow at Lake Tahoe triggered an avalanche that shut down a California state highway and caused a roof to collapse at a liquor store in South Lake Tahoe.

The California Highway Patrol says two cars were briefly trapped but no one was injured when an avalanche covered a 200-foot stretch of Highway 89 with up to 12 feet of snow shortly after 1 a.m. Monday between the Squaw Valley ski resort and Tahoe City, California.

At South Lake Tahoe, Fire Chief Jeff Meston says the roof collapsed and broke a sprinkler pipe at a liquor store at about 2:45 a.m.

No one was hurt. But Meston told Lake Tahoe News there was a “ton of water on the street” when crews arrived. He says local utility workers had to dig through more than a foot of snow to find the main shut-off valve.

Animals at a nearby pet hospital have been evacuated while officials inspect neighboring businesses.

The National Weather Service reports that 30 inches of snow fell at the Heavenly ski resort at South Lake Tahoe between 6 a.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday. More than 7 feet has fallen there over the past five days.