Sierra storm brings risks, rewards

12:03 AM, Nov 21, 2012   |    comments
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DONNER SUMMIT, Calif. - A wave of winter weather came at the perfect time for the Sierra economy, but carried a powerful punch for drivers.

A big rig lost control in the rain on Interstate 80's westbound lanes near Drum Forebay Road about 8 p.m. Tuesday. The rig smashed into a guard rail, then flipped on it's side in the center of the freeway. The driver was unhurt, but traffic had to be held for well over an hour as the rig was brought upright and moved.

"Slow down. And at nighttime, get a little distance when you're followiong traffic and be prepared for those unexpected incidents on the road," California Highway Patrol Sgt. Kevin Pierce said.

Snowboarders rejoiced as the first wave of the storm swept in.

"Gnarly! Shredding the gnar, that's what we call it up here," said Folsom resident McKenzie Rohman, referring to the excellent nighttime boarding conditions.

For Sierra resorts, the wave of winter weather is expected to lift just in time for Thanksgiving - conditions sure to bring a bumper crop of skiers and boarders to Sierra resorts.

"Normally, we don't start night skiing until after Thanksgiving, if we have enough snow, so this is just a God-send," said Ron Sylvia with the Boreal Mountain Resort at Donner Summit.

The wintry weather is expected to lift by Wednesday, allowing drivers to make it into the Sierra without chain controls.


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