‘Drive safe and enjoy’: Chain controls dropped on I-80 in the Sierra

Weather

The Latest – Thursday, Dec. 16

3:25 p.m.

Caltrans said all chain controls have been dropped on Interstate 80.

“Drive safe and enjoy the fresh powder!” Caltrans wrote in its tweet.

1:15 p.m.

Chain controls are in effect on both sides of Interstate 80 from Nyack to Truckee, Caltrans reported.


Original story below:

PLACER COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) – Fresh snow in the mountains Thursday made for a heaven of sorts for skiers and snowboarders. 

But for drivers just trying to get past the summit, freezing conditions led to some challenges on the roads.

“Amazing” was how snowboarders and skiers described conditions on the slopes at Boreal Mountain Resort in Soda Springs.

People came from near and far to take advantage of the fresh snow. 

“We are so excited, Old Man Winter is back in Tahoe,” said Tucker Norred, with Boreal. “We got well over 15 inches overnight, taking the storm total over 75 inches.”

And that is good news for the local economy.

“It’s going to bring people into town, which we’re so happy about, being able to bring people to enjoy all our local shops,” Norred told FOX40. “Get your last-minute Christmas shopping done in Truckee, and then you can come up here and have a great time out on the slopes.”

While it was all fun on the slopes, for drivers just trying to get up the mountain, it was a different story.

Caltrans required chains for most vehicles traveling on Interstate 80 between Alta and the Nevada state line. Dozens of big rigs stopped along the side of eastbound I-80 in Alta Thursday morning, where light rain fell.

“Things happen. Like for me, I got a flat tire. So here I am,” said truck driver Simon Seez, who would be stuck on the mountain for hours.

Seez said most importantly, drivers need to keep safe and stay warm.

“I’m lucky I got a store that I can go get me a cup of coffee,” he said. “I look at that $1,700 paycheck, I’m good to go.”

Boreal is now open seven days a week, including 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays. Staff members say fresh powder will allow them to open even more slopes.

NWS reports dry and chilly weather will settle in on Friday and Saturday, with patchy valley fog possible in the mornings.

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