Whiteout snow conditions in Truckee leaves travelers stranded overnight

Local News

TRUCKEE, Calif. (KTXL) — The recent winter storm in Truckee took many people by surprise.  

Chano Figueroa was visiting the Sierra from Santa Cruz and told FOX40 he was shoveling snow for an hour.

“I mean, I worked my way around the truck. Now I’m just working my way out,” Figueroa said with laughter. “Never done it before, so now I know I never want to do it again.”

He said getting to a hotel Monday night was hard enough on the freeway through all the heavy snow.

“There were trucks swerving on the freeway. I was like, ‘Nuh uh, this is not for me,’” Figueroa recalled.

Reno resident Ronnell Warsinger told FOX40 he wasn’t expecting traffic to be impacted as much as it was.

“It was terrible,” Warsinger said. “I didn’t really think the blizzard would shut down the freeway, just lock it down like this, but it did.”

The Central Sierra Snow Lab tallied 29 inches, about 2.5 feet of snow, from 4 p.m. Monday through 8 a.m. Tuesday.

A couple from Reno never made it home last night.

“I hit a snowbank. Didn’t know I hit a snowbank until the car came to a complete stop,” explained Reno resident Claudette Smith. “The highway patrolman said it’s real dangerous, lot of people get killed. They won’t leave your side until rescue comes and helps you and stuff, which was a good thing.” 

After several hours stranded on the freeway, they finally made it out. Smith said they had to spend $780 to stay at a hotel.

“No electricity now. We’re stuck and we only live 40 miles away from here,” Smith said. “I’m here with a roof over my head and we’re doing OK, and my dog is having fun. First time out here in the snow.” 

The storm caused a power outage in the area Monday night, leaving residents in the hotel in the dark with freezing cold rooms.

All in all, through some hardships, people were just happy to be safe and were willing to wait it out.

“It looks like a white Christmas, a real Christmas,” Warsinger said.

FOX40 spoke with the power company in Truckee and they said they’re working hard to repair several downed powerlines, but there’s no estimate on when power will come back on.

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