Thousands on West Coast Without Power After Nearly 30 Inches of Snow

by Megan Molseed

Thousands of West Coast residents are without power as a major weekend storm slammed along the Pacific Northwest. The blizzard brought up to seven feet of snow along the Sierra region. This massive snowfall has led to various road closures throughout Northern California.

By Monday morning, December 27, more than 56,000 California homes were without power. There are more than 11,000 Oregon homes without power and Washington is feeling an outage in as many as 6,000 homes due to the massive winter storm.

Officials warn that the storm isn’t yet over, either.

The National Weather Service has issued a storm warning throughout greater Lake Tahoe through the day and into the night. The warning expires by 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, December 28. Residents have been warned that they can expect “widespread whiteout conditions” and strong gusts of wind.

According to CBS News weather producer, David Parkinson, residents within the Sierra region can expect another two to four feet of the white stuff to accumulate through Monday. And the Wasatch Mountains region in Utah can expect another foot or snow of snow. While the snow is certainly providing difficult conditions for those in these areas, it is the wind that many need to contend with. Parkinson notes that wind gusts in Lake Tahoe can be expected to reach 100 miles per hour along the mountain ridge tops.

West Coast Residents Will See Massive Cold Fronts With the Snow Fall

The cold temperatures the front is bringing along with it will add some challenges to west coast residents as well. According to David Parkinson, there will be “uncharacteristic, even record cold” along the west coast.

Seattle can expect a Monday high of a chilling 24 degrees. This, according to Yahoo News is the coldest high Seattle residents have ever seen for this date. The chilling temperature breaks the previous record by ten degrees.

This cold front will stretch as far south as Riverside, California where highs are expected to be less than fifty degrees; another record brought to the area by the storms.

Multiple mountain roads were closed due to the snowfall. These closures include a seventy-mile stretch along Interstate 80 which travels through the Lake Taho region into Nevada. According to a California Department of Transportation Twitter Post

Officials shut down multiple mountain roads Sunday, including a 70-mile stretch of Interstate 80 through the Lake Tahoe region to the Nevada state line. According to a Sunday night California Department of Transportation tweet, there was “low or zero visibility on I-80.”

The Sacramento National Weather Service warned on Sunday evening that mountain travel will likely be dangerous throughout the week. According to the Weather Service, “mountain travel will continue to be difficult if not impossible through tomorrow.” According to recommendations, the best time to travel won’t occur until later this week on Thursday.