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Slick, snowy mess makes for slow going on Sierra highways

An image taken from a live traffic camera shows heavy snow on eastbound Interstate 80 at Castle Peak. Highway officials are reporting that both directions of the freeway have been closed intermittently due to snow.
An image taken from a live traffic camera shows heavy snow on eastbound Interstate 80 at Castle Peak. Highway officials are reporting that both directions of the freeway have been closed intermittently due to snow. California Department of Transporation

Interstate 80 over the Sierra has been a slow, snowy mess Saturday afternoon – and it doesn’t look like conditions are likely to improve as darkness falls.

The snow-covered, slick roads have led to both directions of the freeway being closed at various points near Donner Summit to give crews time to tow vehicles that had spun out or stalled on the roadway, said Gilbert Mohtes-Chan, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation.

“The conditions are always changing,” he said. “In 10 minutes, they can change one way or the other.”

Mohtes-Chan said forecasts indicate that as much as an inch to 3 inches of snow could fall on the Sierra summit every hour throughout the evening.

Meanwhile, similar snowy conditions in the Sierra are reported on Highways 20 and 50, where chains are required on all vehicles other than four-wheel drives with snow tires, according to Caltrans’ website.

To see current conditions on Sierra highways, visit http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi.

Ryan Sabalow: 916-321-1264, @ryansabalow

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