Caltrans Crews Work to Clear Sierra Roadways after Winter Storm

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KINGVALE -- It was a winter wonderland up in the Sierra Thursday, with rounds of snow piling up throughout the area.

There was so much snow that some cars in Kingvale got snowed in -- not once but multiple times.

"It’s kind of like cardio when you’re out here, honestly. I like it," said Serjio Gonazalez. "I get tired, I get winded. I come out here cold and then, like, in five minutes I'm just sweating."

Those who could make it on the roads said driving conditions along Interstate 80 were far from ideal.

"They are dreadful and you just have to proceed with caution," said vacationer Vanessa Higgins. "I’m assuming a lot of people are going to get stopped at the pass. Maybe wait until tomorrow to come."

It's why some drivers were opting to ride around in snowmobiles.

"When it gets this bad and they’re calling for blizzard conditions, it's the only way to get around," said Kingvale resident Josh Richardson.

Crews with Caltrans spent the day working to keep the freeway passable by plowing roads and spraying salt and sand for traction.

Officials still encouraged drivers to use extra caution and keep a safe distance from other cars on the road.

"We just advise that people take it slow, make sure they're aware of their surroundings," said Caltrans representative Raquel Borrayl. "That’s how you avoid an accident."

There were still sheets of snow on many parts of the freeway while strong winds created low visibility.

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Continuous Snowfall Challenges Residents

Even when the snowstorm lightened up Thursday evening it was still consistent and traffic on I-80 was slow.

Off the interstate in Soda Springs the plowed powder created a semi-tunnel.

"Left earlier to Sugar Bowl and we had to leave early, actually, which was a bummer. The winds, actually, got super high," said snowboarder Troy Langley.

The National Weather Service says by midday Thursday some spots had gathered more than 4 feet of snow in the past couple of days.

When it comes to the roads, the plows took care of that but the snow has to go somewhere. So it was piled up on the side of the road.

Soda Springs resident Grayson Bess said he had been doing a lot of snow shoveling the past few days. Mentally, he said it can get a little frustration knowing he’s always just hours away from repeating the process because the snow just won't stop.

"It’s funny how that works," he said. "It’s just kind of, you know, how it goes sometimes. You just got to do it, you just got to tough it out."

At the Caltrans station in Kingvale plows were coming and going, something that will continue overnight.

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