Storm Stirs Up Dangerous Driving Conditions for Sierra Travelers

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KINGVALE -- A winter storm left behind a travel mess in the Sierra Sunday.

Several feet of snow piled up in the mountains and the worst of the storm was still on the way.

Some travelers underestimated just how hazardous conditions would be. They braved the stormy weather for a little while, only to turn around toward safety.

"Was going to go snowboarding Saturday and that didn’t happen," said Kevin Falls Jr. "It didn’t happen today either. So we just turned around and heading back now."

Others said they came for the storm and traveled from out of town to experience snow for the first time.

"We just came to visit here because it's our first time," said Citlaly Mercado.

Some drivers, like Matthew Torres, tried to have a plan before heading out. He waited out the storm for a couple of days in the valley and on Sunday he was hoping to make it back to Reno in time for work Monday morning.

"It’s freezing out here," Torres told FOX40. "I actually was supposed to be home last night but canceled because I rather at least try to do it during the day but it doesn’t look like it got any better."

He, like many other travelers, put chains on their tires for some help up the mountain.

But it wasn't just snow drivers needed to worry about, it was also the wind. Strong gusts created extremely low visibility and even the potential for avalanches.

There will be a blizzard warning in effect from 10 p.m. until early Monday morning. The National Weather Service is predicting whiteout conditions during that time and they’re urging people to stay off the roads and postpone travel.

A number of schools were closed Monday morning because of the wintry conditions outside: Pollock Pines Elementary School District, the Pioneer Union School District, Gold Oak Elementary, Pleasant Valley Middle, Pioneer Elementary, Walt Tyler Elementary and Mountain Creek Middle.

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