Spring travelers on Interstate 80 were caught off guard by the sudden snow before sunrise Monday.
A spring storm led to freezing temperatures and near white-out conditions throughout the summit.
Ryan Burton told FOX40 he thought his early-morning drive from Reno to Sacramento would be stress free.
“I was surprised,” Burton said. “Right before I got to Truckee it was just white bliss everywhere. And so, I slowed down, and I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ I thought it was like rain and then all of a sudden it was snow, and I was like ‘OK, I should hit my breaks and go slow.’”
Traffic is at a complete standstill on eastbound I-80 just west of Cisco Grove due to several spin outs and collisions up ahead. @CaltransDist3 urges drivers to take it slow and avoid the area if possible. Chains are required for most eastbound drivers at Cisco Grove. Stay safe. pic.twitter.com/hote5Bq1KA— Eytan Wallace (@EytanWallace) April 11, 2022
Caltrans are warning drivers to follow Burton’s lead and travel slow as chain controls went into effect throughout much of the summit.
Another driver spent much of his early morning learning how to put chains on.
“It sucks. Yeah, it sucks. We’re pulling trailers so it definitely keeps you safe,” he said.
Further up the mountain, the weather caused several spinouts and collisions.
Eastbound Interstate 80 at Donner Summit closed Monday morning due to a crash, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
Officials said the crash occurred on the eastbound route of I-80, just west of Vista Point.
The California Highway Patrol said the agency dealt with multiple spin outs and traffic collisions Monday morning. The CHP shared a picture Monday of a red Jeep crashed into a big rig. Traffic collisions from Monday morning resulted in minor injuries, the CHP said.
The closure left the normally busy highway looking more like a parking lot. Truck driver Dave Neuman got caught up in the bumper-to-bumper traffic.
“Today, yeah, it’s going to be a good fight getting the job done, is going to be a late day today,” Neuman said.
Despite the annoyances and traffic jams that come with winter driving conditions, travelers acknowledge the region needs the snow.
“Happy to see the snow,” Burton said. “We need the rainfall, we need the snow, and we need the water because all of the water levels are low anyway. It’s kind of cool. I’m out in the snow and I enjoy it, so it’s fun.”
As of Monday afternoon, chain controls on I-80 are still in effect for eastbound drivers from Cisco Grove to Kingvale and for westbound drivers from Truckee to Kingvale.
Chains are required on Highway 50 between Twin Bridges and Meyers.