EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Highway 50 is closed in both directions between Placerville and Meyers. Caltrans said it does not have a timetable when the highway to South Lake Tahoe will reopen.
Whiteout conditions in the Sierra threw a wrench into post-Christmas travel plans. Many people that were eager to get home found a closed highway.
“It’s going to be closed all night, and we will reassess in the morning,” Caltrans spokesperson Angela DaPrato told FOX40.
DaPrato said the highway was originally closed from Pollock Pines to Meyers but was later extended to Placerville.
“We’re expecting a lot of snow and with that heavy snow, come whiteout conditions,” DaPrato said.
Whiteout conditions made travel not only difficult for drivers but also first responders.
“CHP patrols who are responding to emergencies and even Caltrans plows getting stuck in the snow,” DaPrato said.
But drivers are not allowing this major Christmas weekend storm to stop their plans.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office and South Lake Tahoe Police Department took to social media urging people to stop calling their dispatchers for when Highway 50 will reopen.
“Please have patience until we get it reopened,” DaPrato said. “A lot of people have been asking what do I do? The best thing you can do is stay home. Avoid traveling during this time because there really aren’t any alternatives. Unless you are an experienced driver, there is a chance you might get stuck in the country or local roads, some emergency officials might not be able to get to you.”
“You are putting your safety at risk and others at risk,” DaPrato added.
Caltrans said Highway 50 is not opening Sunday night and most likely not reopening Monday morning but is dependent on the weather.
Caltrans crews are working to clear the snow off the highway whenever conditions allow them to.