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Sierra rain turns to snow ahead of second round of winter weather

Sierra rain turns to snow ahead of second round of winter weather
Sierra rain turns to snow ahead of second round of winter weather 01:53

SIERRA — A weekend snowstorm expected to hit the Sierra started falling Saturday, worsening driving conditions by the minute.

Luckily, no major issues were reported, though some parts of Interstate 80 had to be closed by Caltrans due to spinouts.

Conditions changed quickly from rain to snow in the Sierra as temperatures dropped.

Still, it's a warmer snowfall, leaving a slushy mixture on the roads that creates challenges for drivers.

"Just trying to get to our destination as safe as we can," said one driver filling up his tank at Nyack Truck Stop.

He describes planning ahead for the worst: getting stuck on the road.

"We brought a lot of waters, jerky, stuff that could last in case we run out of gas or whatever," the driver said.

"I've seen two car crashes down here already," said Vlad Polichshuk, driving down Interstate 80 from Nyack.

Spinouts shut down traffic on part of Interstate 80 Saturday afternoon near Floriston as road conditions worsened.

Snow plows were out in full force, and chain controls were activated.

"Just everybody's putting on chains; it's like packed," said Polichshuk about gas stations he has stopped at along I-80.

Water on the roads from the rain in the Sierra is expected to freeze, which could cause pileups on Sunday morning.

"The roads are wet, and you've got to prepare," said a driver at Nyack Truckstop.

But what's a nightmare on the roads is a paradise for those hitting the slopes as the snow starts to fall at Boreal, open for night skiing and snowboarding.

"It makes it fluffier; it makes it easier to fall because it doesn't hurt as bad," said a group of snowboarders.

"You get the right gear, the right car, and the right toys, and you have a good time," said Mike Bloemsma, heading off the slopes at Boreal back to his home in Truckee.

They're not shying away from the snow — in fact, they're telling mother nature to bring it on.

"We have a little bit of hope to get snowed in!" said the group of snowboarders.

"That's why we live here, not because it's easy, because it's hard," said Bloemsma with a laugh.

Light snow Saturday is expected to turn heavier overnight into Sunday. The message from Caltrans and road crews — take it slow and avoid mountain travel if you can.

Further instructions on safe winter travel can be found on the Caltrans website.

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