In Latest Storm, Snow Turns to Rain in the Sierra

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SODA SPRINGS -- As another storm hit Soda Springs on Wednesday, neighbors were trying to be proactive.

"I'm from Wisconsin and I've never seen snow like this before," neighbor Josh DenBoer said.

DenBoer spent much of the day shoveling snow off the front porch of his apartment. It had been sliding off his roof all day.

That kind of "avalanche" is something the National Weather Service is warning snowy communities about. When there is heavy rain on top of snow, roofs start to unload the snow they are holding -- which can be dangerous or even deadly.

"Got to look above you make sure nothing is about to fall or going to fall," DenBoer said.

Avalanche danger rose from considerable to high in the Greater Lake Tahoe region Wednesday, according to the Sierra Avalanche Center. A post on the center's web site reads:

"Rain on snow, heavy snow, and gale force winds will create a complicated and dangerous mix of wind slab, storm slab, and loose wet avalanche problems at all elevations. Travel in, near or below avalanche terrain is not recommended. Rain on snow could also cause dangerous roof-avalanches as roofs still holding snow unload."

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On Interstate 80, highway patrol urged drivers to take it slow as drivers dealt with slush and minor roadway flooding.

“A lot of puddling," chain installer Chris Lotito said. "You probably noticed that coming up, a lot of standing water.”

The Caltrans billboards over Donner Summit were warning drivers about the flooding. Crews were busy clearing snow and water.

It was sometimes impossible to tell how deep that water was. So far, it has not been dangerously deep on the interstate.

But a portion of Squaw Valley Road was flooded with water up to the undercarriage of cars that were driving through it.

At the main Truckee fire station on Donner Pass Road FOX40 found people working quickly to fill sandbags. Truckee received about 3 inches of rain Wednesday.


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