Winter’s last gasp a doozy
Difficult travel conditions at Lake Tahoe forced the annual Special Olympics Polar Plunge to move to Sunday at Zephyr Cove.
Winter’s last gasp was a cold one as heavy snow made it hard to see and left an icy sheet on some Douglas County roads.
Visibility was cited by Douglas County School Superintendent Teri White when she declared a snow day on Friday.
“Visibility was poor and our bus drivers reported unsafe conditions,” she said on Friday morning.
Closing schools at Lake Tahoe was easy, but the storm hadn’t reached much of the Valley that morning, prompting the district to start out with a two-hour delay before deciding to close.
Bad weather grounded helicopters in a search for a skier missing in Bear Valley.
Thomas Mullarkey, 65, was reported missing on Wednesday night after he failed to return to the Arnold, Calif., cabin he shares with his wife.
Mullarkey is described as 5-feet, 8 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds with gray hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to call Alpine Undersheriff Spencer Case at 530-694-2231, ext. 357.
Most county offices remained open on Friday, but both branches of the Douglas County Public Library shut down.
A winter storm warning provided a heads up for Valley residents that there might be trouble on the morning commute.
Chains or snow tires were required on Highway 395 from Indian Hills south to the state line early Friday morning, but by the busiest time the road was wet but otherwise clear.
More than a foot of snow fell in Genoa and along the west side of Carson Valley, but snow totals decreased toward the center of the Valley.
Minden-Tahoe Airport reported precipitation started around 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Snow fell throughout the day on Friday, but didn’t stick in Gardnerville or Minden.
A half-dozen big rigs were being held at Picketts Junction in Hope Valley where they were blocking Highway 88.
A small avalanche near Red Lake Grade on Highway 88 caught several vehicles in the snow.
Douglas County Search & Rescue responded to the gondola at Heavenly for a report of three snowboarders who said they left the ski resort at a legal gate.
Kingsbury Grade was closed on Friday afternoon by several spinouts and minor collisions, Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies reported. One person was reported injured.
Officially 3 inches of snow fell overnight in Minden, according to the National Weather Service on Friday.
As of 2 p.m. Friday, 19 inches of snow was reported on Daggett Pass at 7,334 feet altitude.
Heavenly Ski Resort reported 28 inches of snow over 24 hours up to 10 a.m. Friday.
Genoa received 14 inches of snow, with 3 inches falling in two hours on Friday morning.
Jacks Valley and Foothill Road were slushy on Friday.
A winter storm warning was expected to continue through 11 p.m. Friday, but paved surfaces below 5,000 feet had variable amounts of snow on them.
Heavy snow was forecast to continue in the Tahoe Basin through the afternoon.
Narrow bands of heavy snow could persist across Mono, Alpine and Douglas counties through Saturday.
An atmospheric river heading for Southern California could send a plume into the central Sierra on Wednesday bringing the first storm of spring.