Winds of 100 mph in Sierra, snow in Oregon Montana


A violent winter storm has blown winds of over 100 mph (160 km / h) and is expected to bring up to 2.4 meters of snow to Sierra Nevada on Monday, spilling trucks and trees, causing power outages and the closure of roads and schools from Oregon to Montana.

Up to 30 centimeters of snow had already fallen in parts of Oregon, canceling flights to Portland. A blizzard warning was in effect in parts of Montana, where a school district canceled its courses for the first time in two decades and whiteout conditions were reported in the Bitterroot Valley near Missoula.

Winds reaching 110 mph (177 km / h) were recorded at the summit of the Squaw Valley ski resort near Lake Tahoe, and up to 135 km / h in the valleys along the eastern front of the Sierra , where Interstate 580 was closed. between Reno and Carson City.

Two trucks rolled over on I-580 and another nearly 395 US in the Washoe Valley, where a non-fatal injury was reported. At one point, nearly 6,000 NV Energy customers were without electricity in the Reno-Sparks area.

A strip of snow from western Montana from Missoula across the Bitterroot Valley was under a blizzard alert on Monday night, with an inch or two (2.5 to 5 centimeters) of snow falling every hour .

The National Weather Service issued warnings and winter storm warnings for most of the rest of Montana until Tuesday morning. Butte public schools canceled their classes Tuesday for the first time in at least 20 years. Buses were blocked and Montana Standard was told by a manager that the district's snow plows were not able to keep up.

Hamilton said an emergency snow situation, with up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) of falling in this place and in Anaconda from here Tuesday.

Schools in Oregon have delayed their start times or have been completely closed on Mondays. About a foot of snow (30 centimeters) has been reported in areas such as Eugene and Bend. The city of Eugene said an emergency snow / snow situation forcing drivers to remove vehicles from the emergency roads to snow.

Devon Ashbridge, a spokesman for Lane County, said that although snowmobile crews had been working since Sunday, the roads were still relatively treacherous with hundreds of trees being cut down and power lines running across county roads .

In the Sierra, along the California-Nevada line, a winter storm warning remained in effect in the Lake Tahoe area until Thursday at 4 am. Winds are forecast to be more than 140 mph (225 km / h) above the ridge.

"Periods of whiteout are likely," said the Reno National Weather Service. "Very strong winds could cause considerable damage to trees."

No new snow had fallen in the Sierra on Monday afternoon, but it is expected that 2 to 4 feet (61 to 122 centimeters) will be expected over three days, with a possibility of 1.2 2.4 meters above 2,134 meters above sea level. , including when Interstate 80 from the United States crosses the summit of the Sierra to Donner Pass, southwest of Truckee, California.

The last storm will be a "marathon rather than a sprint," said the service, in terms of accumulating with several wet feet of fresh snow expected over a layer of drier powder snow until it stopped. Thursday morning.

"The trips will be difficult and sometimes impossible across the Sierra, without a clear cut in snowfall once it has started," said the service.

The service said the new snow load, coupled with the expected winds, could lead to unstable slope conditions in the Sierra, as well as avalanches and "roof rails".

"Do not linger under the eaves of buildings covered with a large amount of snow," warned the service.


Associate press editors Lisa Baumann in Seattle and Matt Volz in Helena, Montana contributed to this report.


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