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Severe Weather

February 8, 2017

The City of South Lake Tahoe’s Public Works Department advises to use caution when traveling due to localized flooding.  Bill Avenue, Shirley Avenue and Bijou Creek are currently closed due to flooding. Lake Tahoe Boulevard between Glorene and Viking Way has been reduced to one travel lane due to flooding. 

Flooding Safety Tips

  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the US.
  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.


Closed Roadways
For safety, the Nevada Department of Transportation has temporarily closed U.S. 50 in the Cave Rock area of Lake Tahoe following five large boulders which have fallen onto the roadway.

During the past three days, boulders roughly the size of large passenger vehicles fell from a roadside slope onto eastbound travel lanes. For safety, travel lanes have reduced to one lane in each direction since Tuesday, with both directions of traffic shifted to westbound lanes away from the rock fall area. No vehicles were involved in the slides, and no injuries were reported. The rock fall occurred near Logan Creek Drive north of Cave Rock.

Open Roadways
Kingsbury (207) is open and so is the Mt. Rose Highway (431) on the north end. 

Sand Bags
Sand and sand bags are available at the City’s Public Works Yard located at 1160 Rufus Allen Blvd. as well as South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue Station #3 located at 2101 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

Snow Removal Phone Numbers
The City of South Lake Tahoe's snow removal phone line is (530) 542-6030. 
For County residents, the snow removal phone number is (530) 573-3180.

Road travel disruptions are high as City, County and Caltrans snow removal operations coSnow Removal for Safety
“Snow Safe” suggestions when snow conditions exist:
• City snow plows are deployed when an average of three (3) inches of snow have fallen (accumulated) on the ground city wide. When snow conditions, snow plows have the right of way on streets and vehicles left unattended in the streets are subject to citation and/or tow. The best policy is to keep your vehicle(s) parked off the streets at all times.
• Cars subject to citation and/or tow are those parked in the street right-of-way. The City right-of-way extends beyond the edge of the pavement to the property line, generally 5 to 10 feet beyond the edge of the pavement.
• The primary purpose of snow removal is to clear snow from streets for emergency vehicles, school buses, hospital entry, refuse trucks and all vehicle traffic.
• The City is asking that you keep all trash containers behind the berm, on your property. Improper placement of trash containers can result in damaged containers and/or snow removal equipment. This affects the level of service we are able to provide to the community.
• When shoveling snow from your driveway, shovel to the right as you face the street. This way, the plow will move the snow further down the road, rather than move the shoveled snow back into your driveway.
• Child Safety-please keep children indoors while snow removal operations are underway.
• Pedestrian Safety-Don't watch snow removal operations from the edge of the road.
• Back Off - Keep a safe distance (40+ feet) when driving/standing behind snow removal equipment.
• Slow Down! - The maximum speed when chain controls are in effect.

How to Tell if the Snow Load on Your Roof Is Too Much:
Your interior doors are a really good clue. If they begin to stick, that signals there’s enough weight on the center structure of the house to distort the door frame. Ignore doors on exterior walls but check interior doors leading to second-floor bedrooms, closets, and attics in the center of your home. Also, examine the drywall or plaster around the frames of these doors for visible cracks.

January 20th-21st, 2017
The National Weather Service advises of a storm to impact South Lake Tahoe on Friday-Saturday and are predicting 8-12” of snow and will impact travel to the Sierras.

City snow removal crews are out in force removing snow throughout the City today and will continue through tonight. Beginning in the morning of Friday, January 20th, snow removal crews will begin removing one (1) additional side of the roadway in the most impacted and narrowed roads in City neighborhoods. This effort will continue through Saturday. 

The City of South Lake Tahoe has 259 lane miles of roadways. Snow removal crews will continue their 12 hour rotational shifts; thus providing snow removal efforts 24/7.

Message from Liberty Utilities:
Liberty Utilities wants to once again remind customers to be prepared for possible extended power outages due to incoming storms this weekend. 

As of 10:30 am this morning, only five customers were without power due to the remoteness of their service. Since initial storms hit on January 3rd causing severe damage to the Liberty’s infrastructure, crews worked round-the-clock restoring power to thousands of customers using additional contracted crews and helicopters to reach remote areas.

Liberty Utilities offers the following advice if your power goes out: 

  • Report outages and monitor outage information by going to our website, www.libertyutilities.com and click on the Emergencies & Outages link at the top. Outages may also be reported to Liberty Utilities at 1-844-245-6868. 
  • People should stay away or in their car if they encounter a downed power line. 
  • Do not approach any downed power lines even if you think they are dead; call 911 to report if they pose an immediate danger. 
  • If someone in your house is on life support, develop a backup plan. 
  • Review safety rules for portable generators if you own one. 
  • Learn how to override your electric garage door opener 
  • Keep refrigerators and freezers closed to reduce food spoilage. 
  • If unopened and full, food can last for two days. 
  • Create an emergency kit that includes a blanket, flashlight, batteries and first aid supplies. Store these items in a water-tight container. 

Liberty asks that customers go to the website at www.libertyutilities.com to get the latest information available so phone lines can remain available for emergencies only.
Read Liberty Utilities Press Release

Message from Caltrans:
Caltrans Cautions Motorists Regarding Weekend Winter Storm
Heavy snowfall and high winds forecast through Monday

Caltrans is alerting motorists traveling to the Sierra mountains, particularly those traveling on Interstate 80 (I-80) over Donner Summit or U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit, to be prepared for significant travel delays. Cold temperatures, heavy snowfall and windy conditions are forecast to continue through Monday, January 23. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning, predicting up to 6 feet of snow for summit passes and continued snowfall for mountain and Lake Tahoe areas. High winds are predicted for Friday as well as Sunday-Monday when low-visibility, whiteout conditions may occur. Additional snow accumulations, combined with high winds, will increase the risk of falling trees or downed power lines causing power outages. Motorists should call 911, when safe to do so, to report obstacles on the roadway.

Chain controls on state roadways throughout the higher elevations should be expected. Heavy rainfall in lower elevations increases the potential for flooding. Area roadways may experience mud or rock slides.
Read Caltrans Press Release

January 19, 2017
The National Weather Service advises of a storm to impact South Lake Tahoe on Friday-Saturday and are predicting 8-12” of snow and will impact travel to the Sierras.

Another storm system is due Sunday-Monday (January 22nd-23rd) and is trending toward a big snow scenario. The National Weather Service is predicting 18”-24” of Snow in South Lake Tahoe. Significant road travel disruptions are anticipated during this storm system. Power outages, avalanche warnings and fallen trees are anticipated. The National Weather Service warns of impacts to roof and carport collapses in the Sierras due to snow depth and weight.

Road travel is not advised Friday, January 20th – Monday, January 23rd.

The National Weather Service is anticipating a break in the storm systems starting on Tuesday, January 24th through the beginning of February.

Stay up to date at www.weather.gov/reno or view the briefing slides at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/rev/briefings/NWS-Reno-Briefing-19Jan2017.pdf

The Sierra Avalanche Center has issued avalanche warnings for Lake Tahoe. http://www.sierraavalanchecenter.org/advisory#null

Excellent example of effective sandbagging.

In order to prepare for Winter storms, we encourage residents to get prepared by doing the following:

  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, #StayHomeStaySafe.
  • Get sand bags. Sand bags are available at the City yard at 1160 Rufus Allen Blvd and also at Fire Station #3 at 2101 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
  • Clear storm drains. There are 1,874 storm drains in the city. City crews will be out clearing to clear high priority drains in expected flood areas. Residents can also help by clearing any storm drains in front of their home. Use a shovel or pick to break ice and snow away from storm drains so that water can enter the drains.

  • Prepare for utility outage. Gather flashlights and replace batteries. During the storm, Liberty Utility crews will work 24/7 to restore power where needed. To report a power outage, call 844-245-6868.
  • Keep roofs cleared. Snow with high water content is heavy. When it’s followed up by torrential rain, existing snow on your roof will become heavier. Spend Friday and Saturday clearing as much snow off your residential structures before the next storm arrives.
  • Expect berms. Heavy snow is more difficult to plow and often results in berms in driveways and at street intersections.
  • Stock up on supplies.  People using oxygen tanks need to have battery back-up power on hand. Residents should store up on food, water, batteries, pet food. #StayHomeStaySafe
  • Don’t drive through water that is too deep.  If flooding occurs, don’t drive through it.
  • Stay informed. Tune into TV, radio stations, and/or social media for storm updates.
  • Get the word out. Advise neighbors, friends and family of expected flooding and to plan and prepare.
  • Emergency Operations. In anticipation of flooding and severe weather, the City has already contacted American Red Cross and prepared its Emergency Operations Teams to be on call and ready to open evacuation centers as needed. Stay up to date with emergency and weather information with the City’s social media accounts, Twitter feed, Facebook, and NewsFlash reports (www.cityofslt.us/signup).

Only use 911 for emergencies

Be Safe During the Storm

The City will be posting updates throughout the storm at:

Website         www.cityofslt.us
Facebook       www.facebook.com/OfficialCityofSouthLakeTahoe 
Twitter          www.twitter.com/cityofslt
Instagram     www.instagram.com/cityofsouthlaketahoe