Travelers use break in weather to go to and leave the Sierra before Christmas

Local News

SODA SPRINGS, Calif. (KTXL) — Snow is expected to fall in the Sierra through the Christmas holiday and the Soda Springs community is preparing.

Along with keeping her customers safe by spreading salt on the ground, Donner Summit gas station employee Leslie Mattice also knows exactly what’s going to be her hottest selling item this week.

“This is our all-season windshield wiper fluid. It’s rated to zero degrees, so it doesn’t freeze. A lot of people come in to pick this up because one of the first things to go is the windows in a storm,” Mattice explained.

Holiday travel isn’t going to be smooth sailing during the winter storm, but Mother Nature isn’t expected to bring the heavy weather right away.

Video showed some pretty good driving conditions on Interstate 80 Tuesday evening and travelers will get a little bit of a break if they’re coming up Wednesday.

The National Weather Service said if holiday travelers leave before nightfall Wednesday, there’s going to be some of the lighter storms ahead of the more intense snowfall.

The window of good weather isn’t just for those traveling to the Sierra but also is a chance to come down from the mountain.

“That means the people who are already here are racing to get on home,” said Mattice

That is the plan for Jay Pietraszek who told FOX40 he will head home to the Bay Area Wednesday.

“We should be able to get out no problem,” Pietraszek said. “After that it looks a little bit harrier, so rather than risk getting caught here, we figure we’d get out tomorrow.”

Caltrans crews were standing by Tuesday night in case conditions change.

Travelers are advised to be prepared to buy chains or cables and to remember the maximum speed limit in difficult weather is 30 miles per hour.

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