A blizzard with winds up to 100 mph in the Sierra Nevada closed down a 111-mile stretch of a California highway Sunday, making a mess of ski and holiday travel.
Meanwhile, a 70-mile stretch of Interstate Highway 80, which was shut Christmas Day, also remained closed Sunday from Colfax in north central California to the Nevada border due to “zero visibility” caused by the storm, officials announced.
Caltrans officials posted a brief video to show the dangerous conditions on I-80.
Caltrans working around the clock & combating the storm to keep I-80 maintained. Earlier this afternoon, crews took footage of the storm to show the poor visibility & high winds on I-80 in the Sierra. This is why I-80 is CLOSED today.🥶 #SafetyFirst#KnowBeforeYouGo@CHP_Truckeepic.twitter.com/1Imd6qmYYQ
— Caltrans District 3 (@CaltransDist3) December 26, 2021
The California Highway Patrol also posted an I-80 white-out video Saturday.
Wondering why I-80 is currently closed? Here’s what I-80 looks like right now 😳🙀❄️ pic.twitter.com/VfhVFnLSwu
— CHP Truckee (@CHP_Truckee) December 25, 2021
The two highways are the key routes between the Lake Tahoe ski resorts close to the Nevada border and the San Francisco Bay area. Other sections of state highways have also been closed, along with a number of ski resorts.
On the border at Reno, Nevada, weather officials warned Sunday in a tweet: “If you have the luxury of staying home and not having to drive today, take advantage. Currently gusting to 52 mph and a wind chill of 6 degrees at the office. It’s very icy out with dangerous driving conditions.”
Current situation across the region. If you have the luxury of staying home and not having to drive today, take advantage. Currently gusting to 52 mph and a wind chill of 6 degrees at the office. It's very icy out with dangerous driving conditions. Stay safe! #NVwx#CAwxhttps://t.co/tTF37XVO5k
— NWS Reno (@NWSReno) December 26, 2021
A 20-car pileup in Nevada closed Highway 395 in Washoe County on Sunday. California firefighters assisting in the accident called weather conditions “extreme.”
⚠️UPDATE #TMFR crews responded to two separate auto pile ups this morning, both directions on 395 near Bowers Ext. Approx six patients have been transported. Uninjured transported to TMFR Fire Station for shelter. Working on plan to get folks home. @WashoeSheriff@washoecountypic.twitter.com/SjkXGW88z3
— Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue (@TMFPD) December 26, 2021
The National Weather Service on Sunday issued a continued winter storm warning for the Sierra Nevada to Tuesday morning with “difficult to impossible travel conditions.” Meteorologists predicted up to eight feet of snow over the mountains in that time.
Travelers were advised to pack tire chains, warm winter clothes and extra food and water.
While dangerous, the snow is good news for California’s long-running drought. The state in October recorded its driest year in nearly a century.
The snowpack in the Sierra was at dangerously low levels, but the state Department of Water Resources reported Friday that it was between 114% and 137% of normal across the range with more snow expected.
In other bad news in the state, Highway 1 in southern California was closed due to a rock slide.
UPDATE: Highway 1 is closed from San Simeon Road to just south of the Ragged Point Inn due to rockslide activity. Caltrans will assess conditions tomorrow morning with sunset approaching.@PIOJimShivershttps://t.co/N55e8v67cShttps://t.co/u3fAqXWbVE
— Caltrans District 5 (@CaltransD5) December 27, 2021
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.