Winter Storm Pummels West

More than eight feet of snow was dumped on the Sierra Nevada in just four days, closing Interstate 80 and triggering voluntary evacuations in parts of Lake Tahoe for fear of avalanches.

Several major roads were shut down Tuesday because of spinouts and near-blizzard conditions. Hundreds of state workers were sent home early in Reno, Carson City, and other cities.

In parts of Washoe County, sheriff's deputies went door-to-door late Tuesday urging dozens of residents to leave their homes until later Wednesday. An avalanche warning was in effect Wednesday along Lake Tahoe's north shore.

An avalanche closed the Mount Rose Highway southwest of Reno, burying the road under eight feet of snow, but causing no injuries. Over the weekend, one man was killed and three friends barely escaped after being buried for more than four hours in an avalanche near Donner Pass.

Snow was falling early Wednesday from Montana to the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Some of the snowfall in Utah was heavy, prompting several winter storm warnings across the state. Skies over Nevada were clearing Wednesday.

Rescuers planned search again Wednesday for two missing men who failed to return from a weekend outing in Washington State's Cascade Range. The search near Snoqualmie Pass was halted before nightfall due to the high avalanche danger, King County sheriff's deputy John Urquhart said.

Interstate 80 was closed for several hours Tuesday from the Nevada-California state line west to Applegate, Calif., about 30 miles northeast of Sacramento.

"It's terrible," Sara Olson said at the J&L Food Mart in nearby Truckee, Calif. "I'm getting very sick of this. If I have to pick up another shovel. . . ."

Elsewhere, hundreds of big-rigs and commuters were stranded because a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 5, the main artery linking Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, was shut down by snow, ice, and fog.

The highway over the Tehachapis some 60 miles north of Los Angeles was closed late Tuesday when the snow storm moved in and visibilities dropped to zero. The California Highway Patrol said I-5 would reopen before noon Wednesday.

Pounding rain also plagued Northern California. In San Francisco, gusty winds up to 60 mph uprooted trees and collapsed a three-story scaffold onto six parked cars.

The National Weather Service late Tuesday lifted flood watches issued for the Russian River in Sonoma County and flood warnings for the upper Napa River and Petaluma River.

CBS News affiliate KIRO-TV in Seattle reports that the storm reached as far north as Washington State. More than an inch of snow fell in the Seattle area, although in other parts of the state the ground remained bare.