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'People Aren't Prepared For Snow In May': Wintry Weather Catches Sierra Drivers Off-Guard

TAHOE (CBS13) — It was a marathon on Mother's Day and into Monday as May snow slowed traffic and commerce on two major Sierra highways.

"People aren't prepared for snow in May," Chain installer Chris Lotito said.

Lotito helped truckers along I-80 who are typically prepared for weather like this.

"I don't have [chains] actually, because it's May. [There's usually] no snow. All chains are out of my truck," one trucker said.

He was willing to purchase chains, but chains for truck tires were nowhere to be found, so he decided to wait out the weather. He wasn't the only one.

"I don't want to pay the $130 for 15 miles for the chains," a woman named Kim said.

Kim and Abby were on their way to the University of Nevada, Reno from Roseville so Abby could finish her finals.

"Four p.m. is the final exam, so we got plenty of time," Kim said. "So we'll make it."

The May storm, along with prices for chains, caught them off guard. Just a couple of years ago, snow chains cost $60.

Inflation combined with supply chain issues is driving up costs for motorists.

"We get our chains or metal from China," Lotito said. "It's just hard getting them here, and the cost of shipping has doubled, the cost of trucking has doubled...cost of fuel."

Lotito said his price to install is still $30, but you can expect that to rise to $40.

"Because we've been charging $30 for 20 years now, but it costs a lot of money to go chaining," he said.

As of mid-day Monday, I-80 chain controls were dropped but chains were still required on Highway 50 from Twin Bridges to Meyers.

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