(KTXL) — The first wave of a cold winter storm dropped in from the north, and at an elevation of 6,000 feet, in the community of Kingvale, snow dropped from the clouds like confetti.

And less than an hour after it started falling, chain controls went up on Interstate 80.

“We kept hoping we would not hit it, but we had a feeling we might,” traveler Sharon Howard said.

Howard and her husband were hoping to beat the storm. But it was faster than their pickup.

They had to pull over and chain up for the last few miles of their drive to Truckee to visit relatives.

On the other side of Donner Summit, in Truckee, one driver learned the hard way what happens when a Prius gets tangled up with a big rig in the snow.

There was serious damage to the front and back of the Prius. The car was left un-drivable while the big rig didn’t appear to have a scratch.

At the Shell station along Donner Pass road at I-80, FOX40 found manager John Raber helping a young couple unravel a mistake they made with their tire chains.

“He looked it up on Youtube. Youtube showed him, but Youtube didn’t say they need to be on the front; he had them on the back, yeah,” Raber said.

Raber has seen it all on this mountain. He understands people want to visit and enjoy the snow. But he wishes more would plan their trips wisely.

“Come up when it’s nice. Not when it’s going to be miserable. It’s not fun,” Raber said. “We got to deal with the snow. When I’ve got a parking lot full of 100 cars, I can’t plow it.”

Getting stuck in the snow when the interstate shuts down and having to buy expensive chains, he understands it’s all very frustrating, but he would like to remind people to be kind to those who work up here.

“Majority of the people come up here don’t have patience. They leave the patience down there at Auburn,” Raber said.

Travel in the mountains is expected to be dangerous from Wednesday through Friday as there will be heavy snowfall. It’s not advised to drive through the Sierra and foothills.

There is also the possibility the snow will make travel impossible.