Snow forecast comes true with vengeance |

Snow forecast comes true with vengeance

Denise Ortiz shovels the sidewalk in front of her County Road home Thursday morning.
John T. Humphrey |

Action on Douglas County roads moved from Lake Tahoe to Carson Valley on Thursday as promised snow sent vehicles spinning on Valley highways.

Snow started falling in Gardnerville shortly after a winter weather advisory took effect at 4 a.m.

By 11 a.m. there were chain controls on highways 395 and 88, and Douglas County deputies had responded to seven noninjury wrecks.

Johnson Lane was particularly slick, with several of the wrecks occurring there.

The Nevada Highway Patrol reported a single injury crash in the southbound lanes of Highway 395 and Jakes Hill at 6:40 a.m. Thursday.

Heavy snow in Western Nevada grounded ambulance helicopters, officials said.

Traffic came to a standstill at Highway 50 and Highway 207 on several occasions, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol and the sheriff’s office.

Between the blizzard at Lake Tahoe and a variety of calls in the Valley, dispatchers were overwhelmed.

Conditions on Thursday were considerably slower than the blizzard conditions at Lake Tahoe on Wednesday when Douglas officials asked that residents use an alternate number to 911 for nonemergency calls.

Douglas officials asked residents with a nonemergency to call 782-5126. Callers may be placed on hold, but the communications operators will return to you.

For nonemergencies and to report flood related damage, dial 783-6404 or 782-9099.

More than 500 people south of Gardnerville were without power on Wednesday afternoon, according to NV Energy.

Electricity for 406 Ruhenstroth residents went out at 10:23 a.m. and was not restored until Wednesday evening.

Another 76 residents lost power early Wednesday morning.

Nearly 100 Lake Tahoe NV Energy customers in Douglas County were without power after Wednesday’s blizzard. At one point on Wednesday more than 16,000 Lake Tahoe homes were without power, according to Liberty Utilities.

Today’s forecast calls for snow to linger until around 10 a.m. when it will give way to partly cloudy skies.

“Even light snowfall causes major travel delays, especially during periods of high-traffic volume,” forecasters warned. “Be sure to allow extra time to reach your destination. Leave extra space between vehicles since it takes longer to stop on slick roadways.”

National Weather Service forecasters are predicting the possibility of an atmospheric river arriving next week, bringing another major storm with heavy rain.