Caltrans Urges Drivers to Avoid Travel to Sierra

Source: Caltrans

Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin is urging motorists to avoid non-essential mountain travel until weather conditions improve. Caltrans has closed 45 state highways since December 24 due to record snowfall in the Sierra Nevada. While Caltrans has reopened 29 highways – including Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 50, the main gateways to Lake Tahoe – roadway conditions remain challenging with extensive delays and chain controls in effect.

“The safety of the traveling public is always Caltrans’ top priority,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “Please avoid traveling to the Sierra unless absolutely necessary. If you must travel, make sure you’re prepared.”

Under the direction of Governor Gavin Newsom, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) has activated the State Operations Center to monitor storm conditions and coordinate all necessary assistance. Caltrans is coordinating with CalOES, the California Highway Patrol, local law enforcement, the Nevada Department of Transportation and the National Weather Service to respond to changing conditions and keep roadways safe for travel.

In response to the record snowfall, Caltrans has redirected all available crews into the mountains to reopen roadways, bringing operators from as far away as the Bay Area to assist. The department has 1,350 field staff clearing mountain highways, working 24/7 in 12-hour shifts, and has deployed more than 600 snowplows statewide.

Caltrans has recorded more than $22 million in storm damage to state highways during the current winter storm, not including snow and fallen tree removal costs. Hundreds of trees have fallen onto highways, slowing the snow removal process.

Caltrans shared the following safety tips for motorists who must travel to the mountains:

  • Before heading out, check Caltrans QuickMap for the latest road closure and chain control information.
  • Carry chains and be ready for winter driving conditions.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in good working order by checking your brakes, wipers, antifreeze, heaters, and exhaust systems before you leave.
  • Do not try to go around highway closures by using secondary roads.

And when you’re on the road, please remember:

  • Slow down and Be Work Zone Alert as Caltrans crews, California Highway Patrol officers, and other emergency responders are out trying to help control traffic and clear the roads.
  • “Don’t Crowd the Plow” – tailgating or trying to go around snowplows can result in potentially dangerous situations.
  • Have an emergency kit in your vehicle that includes blankets, water, food, a shovel, gloves, a flashlight, and sand or kitty litter to provide traction in case your vehicle becomes stuck. 
  • Bring cash in case power is unavailable for credit card transactions.
  • Keep your phone charged in case you need it in an emergency.


Written by caltrans

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  1. Yes, mother Gaia will unleash her fury upon us as the prophet Al Gore foretold. Our only hope is to increase the cost of living for the working class while helping the rich get richer. And yes, global warming absolutely causes record high snowfall in the sierras just the same as it causes record low snowfall in the sierras. Keep the faith brother!

  2. And here is an example of a bogus doomsday prediction, or should we call it “science that has since evolved”. In 2013, these “scientists” predicted ice free arctic summers in 5-6 years and said it might happen even sooner. Oops…but yes, keep the faith, the prophecies of Al Gore will come true…
    And here is a history of the arctic sea ice extent that shows what actually happened since the “ice free” predictions:

  3. Good point. By reducing the amount of new construction we can help to enrich wealthy property owners and to drive up the cost of housing for the working class. If it makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, it’s good for fighting climate change!

  4. Sorry,but I don’t take anything seriously from Colorado state, Boulder.
    Same people who came up with the idiotic Snowy Plover “problem”.
    So they get a job keeping people out of areas for a LIVING.
    This is what’s wrong with that “school” and their “research”.

  5. Remember, global warming works in mysterious ways. We will still have severe drought and cataclysm in our future. Don’t let these record snowfalls weaken your faith in the “science” of global warming. It’s still important that we drive up the cost of fuel and utilities to squeeze the working class in order to save the world.

  6. Adding energy in the form of heat to the atmosphere from radiative forcing due to increased carbon dioxide results in more extreme weather. Some people just can’t figure that out. Or, more likely in this case with disinfochip, it’s willful ignorance to support an agenda.

  7. Chillin, here is a link to NOAA’s website showing the sea level data from Santa Barbara’s measuring station going back to the 1970s. As you can see, there is no real change in the long term trend.
    And here is the data from the station at the battery in New York City going back to the 1850s. New York City has been the subject of many doomsday predictions suggesting the city will be submerged by rising seas. However, the data shows there is no change in the sea level trend that has been measured since the mid 19th century.
    Please keep an eye on these measuring stations and let me know when the tide gage data reflects Al Gore’s prophecies.

  8. This seems to be a trending ploy among science deniers: pretend that fighting climate change adds to inequality. With no basis whatsoever, just spouting nonsense as usual. It’s a spin-off of the fairy tales the GOP tells their voters about coal mining jobs coming back and windmills causing cancer.

  9. All of the Henny Pennys seem to be out in force on this thread. I do not, and will never, understand why you want to let gub-mint run your lives. It’s like you think that you are absolved of any responsibility if you follow the gub-mint rules. No wonder you peeps like to stay in school for as long as you can…or longer (the ultimate rules-based institution are our schools and universities). What happened to you? You used to be a rebel. You used to distrust “the man”, but now you are complicit with the man and that’s how you like it….not very open minded or rebellious. You’ve become your parents. LOL!

  10. Ah, the classic right-wing disdain for higher education. Babycakes, have you ever stopped to wonder WHY your gub-mint spent four years demonizing academia? The less “you peeps” know, the more you can be controlled. How very “rebellious” of you… baaaaa.

  11. “If you navigate to the link I provided, the NSIDC data shows the extent of sea ice in the arctic right now is the highest it has been since 2004.”
    Extent isn’t volume, as people who aren’t stupid science-denying maggots can understand.

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