Crews, Drivers Prepare for Heavy Traffic in the Sierra Ahead of Winter Storms

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TRUCKEE — Snow has started to fall in Truckee and it’s expected to continue into early next week.

Though by Friday evening accumulations were minimal, travelers are preparing for what’s likely to be a winter mess.

“I’ve sat in traffic for two to three hours going ten miles going from Squaw to Truckee. That’s not fun,” said Kellee Rich from Truckee.

And those who live up on the mountain know all too well how quickly road conditions can change.

“The plan is to avoid main highways at all costs because it’s just going to be very crowded with everyone coming up to ski and snowboard,” Rich said. “I understand why everyone wants to come here because it’s beautiful but just be careful. That’s my only recommendation.”

With a winter weather warning in effect until Tuesday and several feet of snow expected to fall, locals say the best way to get ahead of the storm is to prepare.

“For timing, it’s always sooner the better especially when it comes to snow storm,” said Duke Walton of Kingvale. “Everyone’s getting prepared now, making sure they’re all stocked up, groceries done.”

But the snow didn’t stop some visitors from making the trip up to the Sierra.

Jennifer Michael is traveling all the way from Kentucky to enjoy a weekend on the slopes.

“We skied today at Squaw and then tomorrow and we will look at the snow report and find out where it’s not too windy and hopefully get out of here on Monday or Tuesday,” she said.

Helping drivers like Jennifer stay safe is Caltrans, who will be out monitoring conditions all weekend long to keep the roads as clear as possible.

“We deal with quite a bit of travelers who think they can make it and we’re going to do our best to try to keep the roads open and safe for them,” said Greg Dealba, Donner Pass Superintendent.

Crews are currently staging along the main roads, ready to plow where needed.

There are also trucks standing by ready to spray sand for traction.

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