Rapid Snowfall Returns to the Sierra

SODA SPRINGS -- Snow started falling heavily after 5 p.m. in the Donner Pass area Wednesday night. Forecast models predict two feet of snow piling up there by Friday morning.

Skiers and snowboarders in Soda Springs were celebrating the incoming storm, expecting it to deliver the type of light powder that is best for winter sports.

Chain controls went into effect within the first few hours of rapid snowfall, and Caltrans plow drivers were working to keep the roads passable.

The California Highway Patrol reminds travelers the speed limit is 30 miles per hour in chain control zones. Anything more than that increases the chance of losing traction in a snowstorm.

CHP officers, tow truck operators and Caltrans crews were busy responding to spin-outs, accidents, and stranded vehicles on the snowy Interstate between Blue Canyon and Truckee.

By 10 p.m., the snow was falling as low as Alta on Interstate 80, just below the 4,000-foot elevation.