Breaking News

Zero visibility closes 80: Blizzard shuts interstate between Placer County foothills and Nevada state line

By: Staff Report
-A +A
Interstate 80 over Donner Summit was closed to traffic Thursday due to heavy snowfall and zero visibility, Depending on weather conditions, the highway would remain closed through midnight or early Friday morning, California Highway Patrol-Gold Run office spokesman Todd Kettwig said. The closure came Thursday afternoon as heavy snowfall and strong winds moved in. By late afternoon, the snow began falling in Colfax. “It’s dumping right now,” Felicia Story-Chapin of coffee shop Buzz Thru Joe’s said. And while the coffee was hot, business had cooled because of a freeway closure that started at Applegate. “Usually when it closes at Colfax, we’re busy here,” Story-Chapin said. Truckee CHP Officer Tony Prisco said whiteout conditions combined with heavy accumulations of snow on the road were causing vehicle spinouts and loss of traction. “In conjunction with Caltrans, we’re doing everything we can to open it up as soon as visibility improves,” Prisco said. Closures are relatively rare and when they are, usually short, he said. And with Highway 50 also under the same conditions, the best advice Prisco said he has is to wait before setting off into the Sierra. “That’s because you’re going to be facing a number of waits as you pass through checkpoints and delays,” he said. Earlier Thursday, there was a snow and mudslide on westbound I-80 near Cisco Grove but traffic continued flowing safely. The slide partially blocked one lane of the highway. “There were no traffic collisions or injuries as a result,” Kettwig said. Gus Thomson, Gloria Beverage: Gold Country News Services