Deadly Avalanche Strikes Palisades Tahoe Resort: Sierra Travel Delays Expected


A winter storm in Northern California has brought heavy snowfall and dangerous conditions to the Sierra. The weather team has designated Wednesday as an Impact Day due to ongoing travel issues above 5,000 feet. Chain controls have been implemented on Interstate 80, Highway 50, and Highway 88, with slow travel expected to continue until Thursday morning. The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District canceled classes on Wednesday as a result of the snow forecast.

Tragedy struck on Wednesday morning when an avalanche occurred at Palisades Tahoe ski resort, leaving one person dead and another injured. The avalanche happened at the Palisades side of the mountain, above the GS gully area of KT-22. The victim has been identified as 66-year-old Kenneth Kidd, a resident of Point Reyes and the Tahoe Truckee area. Search and rescue teams are conducting operations, while the mountain remains closed for the rest of the day.

In addition to the avalanche, heavy snowfall is impacting the Sierra, with around 12-18 inches of new snow expected above 6,000 feet and 3-6 inches at around 4,000 feet. Stray showers are also possible in the Valley, with minimal rainfall amounts. Thursday and Friday are expected to be dry, but Saturday may bring more showers and impactful snow.

Citizens are advised to stay off the roads and avoid traveling to the Sierra due to the hazardous conditions. Chain controls will remain in effect, and visibility may be severely limited. Caltrans and CHP have been working to keep the highways clear, but caution is urged. The situation is still ongoing, and updates will continue to be provided by local authorities and weather agencies.

It is essential to stay prepared for the winter storm by downloading weather apps, monitoring local news sources, and staying tuned to announcements from authorities. Stay safe and avoid any unnecessary travel during this time.