Icy weather closes a stretch of Interstate 15 near Nevada border for about 12 hours


Icy conditions closed a six-mile stretch of Interstate 15 near California’s border with Nevada for about 12 hours Wednesday as the beginning of a massive winter weather storm moved into the region.

Officials made the emergency road closure just before 11:30 p.m. Tuesday after “weather reduced roadway visibility,” the California Department of Transportation said. The interstate was reopened by noon Wednesday, Caltrans District 8 spokesperson Eric Dionne said.

The highway was closed from near Nipton Road in Mountain Pass to the Nevada border.

Officials are warning that winter weather could continue to hinder travel across Southern California through Sunday, with several feet of snow expected in area mountains — enough for the National Weather Service’s Los Angeles office to issue a rare blizzard warning for the region, affecting many at the highest elevations.

The storm brought extreme winds and dangerous surf conditions late Tuesday into Wednesday morning, with gusts up to 80 mph recorded just off Southern California’s coast, according to the National Weather Service. In Avalon on Santa Catalina Island, the highest gust reached 86 mph Tuesday evening, while many of Southern California’s mountains and coasts saw winds around 50 to 60 mph.

All trips on the Catalina Express ferry were canceled Wednesday because of weather.

High winds across the state caused significant power outages beginning Tuesday night, mostly in Northern California and the Central Coast. Officials with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said Wednesday morning that more than than 187,000 customers have had power restored, but more than 90,000 remain in the dark, mostly in San Mateo County, as well as Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.

“We are mobilizing additional resources into these counties this morning,” said Angie Gibson, PG&E’s vice president for emergency preparedness and response.

Damaging winds remain a concern across the state Wednesday, with wind advisories still in effect through the evening from the Orange County coast to the eastern Mojave Desert. Forecasts show high winds picking up again Thursday across the San Francisco Bay Area, with more power outages likely.


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