Snowstorm

A California Highway Patrol vehicle drives through the snow at Donner Summit on Sunday. 

A roughly 50-mile stretch of Highway 50 between Placerville and Meyers that had been closed due to snow since Sunday reopened to traffic Monday evening. Chain controls are required.

Traffic, however, was stalled again Tuesday morning after a jackknifed semi-truck blocked all lanes, Caltrans said around 7:15 a.m. Traffic was held in both directions near Meyers while crews removed the truck.

Most other Sierra Nevada highways, including Interstate 80 between Colfax and the Nevada state line, remained shut down Tuesday morning, leaving Highway 50 as the only feasible, safe option to traverse the mountains. There was no estimated time of reopening for I-80, as of Tuesday afternoon.

Heavy snowfall stopped Monday evening in Northern California, but Caltrans, utility workers and other crews were still plowing away mounds of snow and clearing trees, power lines and other debris from roadways.

According to Caltrans, other full closures as of 7 a.m. Tuesday included Highway 49 from Downville to Sattley in Sierra County and multiple stretches of Highway 89 in El Dorado, Placer and Sierra counties.

Highway 20 remained closed in the eastbound direction at Nevada Street in Nevada County, while westbound traffic was open.

The powerful storm, which coincided with the Christmas weekend, also caused an avalanche on Highway 89 between Tahoe City and River Ranch; created a mudslide that continues to close Highway 70 between Jarbo Gap in Butte County and Greenville Wye in Plumas County; and knocked out power for tens of thousands of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers in the mountains and foothills.

The heaviest snow came over the weekend and Monday, but several more inches were expected late Tuesday and early today, according to the National Weather Service.

Accumulation won’t compare to the previous winter storm, but it will be a colder system dropping snow to lower elevations in the foothills and parts of the Sacramento Valley.

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