Photos: Blizzard hammers Sierra, closing resorts and creating travel nightmares


California authorities shut down 100 miles of Interstate 80 on Friday as the biggest snowstorm of the season bore down on the Sierra Nevada, where residents were urged to take shelter and stay off roads as they prepared for up to 10 feet of snow in some areas and damaging winds.

“AAANNNDD WE’RE CLOSED!!” the California Highway Patrol posted on X, previously known as Twitter, saying the closure was due to “spin outs, high winds, and low visibility. No estimated time of reopening the freeway.”

Authorities closed the interstate in both directions after 5 p.m. on a day when the majority of more than a dozen ski resorts around Lake Tahoe were closed, a tornado touched down in Central California and visitors to Yosemite National Park were told to leave. The 100-mile closure is at the state border just west of Reno to near Emigrant Gap, Calif.


Luis Apolinar attempts to dig out his vehicle as snow falls.

Luis Apolinar attempts to dig out his vehicle as snow falls in Truckee, Calif.

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A person walks down a snow-covered road flanked by snowy pine trees as snow falls.

A person walks as snow falls near Truckee, Calif.

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Michael Murray uses a snow blower in the dark during heavy snowfall in front of a church.

Michael Murray uses a snow blower during heavy snowfall in Truckee, Calif.

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Palisades Tahoe

A thick layer of snow surrounds a small body of water near homes in the background.

Palisades Tahoe resort in California has recorded a two-day snowfall total of 41 inches from the blizzard hitting the Sierra on Saturday.

(Riley Bathurst/Palisades Tahoe)

An employee uses a snow blower to clear snow at a ski resort near a ski lift chair.

An employee at Alpine, part of the Palisades Tahoe resort complex, clears snow. The resort remains closed because of the blizzard.

(Palisades Tahoe)

Mammoth Lakes

Snow falls on a scene of one person, pine trees, snow-covered ground and an aerial lift.

Mammoth Mountain has received 2 feet of new snow from the latest storm.

(Samantha Lindberg/Mammoth Lakes Tourism)


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