As the western United States continues to grapple with a weeklong series of storms that have dumped an incredible amount of precipitation, the reality for those living in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee area of California and Nevada is becoming increasingly perilous: Officials have declared a snow emergency in certain communities, ordering citizens to seek shelter inside due to high avalanche danger.
On Tuesday, Washoe County in Nevada declared a snow emergency and ordered residents in Incline Village and Crystal Bay on the shores of Lake Tahoe to take shelter, warning of the imminent danger all the snow in the area posed:
The Sierra Avalanche Center has issued a High Avalanche Warning for the Lake Tahoe area. Residents of the Crystal Bay and Incline Village areas are being asked to shelter in place during this snow event. Wind speeds and snowfall rates are increasing dramatically. Residents in the Crystal Bay area are advised to stay indoors until further notice. Avalanches large enough to break trees and move cars have occurred in Crystal Bay under similar storm circumstances.
The avalanche warnings are just one aspect of the troubles the insane amount of snowfall from the past week (Snow Brains reported accumulation of as much as 10 feet over 7,000 feet) has caused in the Sierra Nevada.
Sheriffs in Mono County, California are reporting that phone lines are down:
In case of an emergency:
Landlines are down in Mono County, which has impacted our 911 capabilities. Call from a… https://t.co/uoqAfZl5CE
— Mono Sheriff (@MonoSheriff) January 11, 2017
Meanwhile, in the city of Truckee, California, all power remains out as the town continues to be pounded by snow:
— Brian Hickey (@kcraBrianHickey) January 11, 2017
As officials struggle to keep utilities up for residents in the area, nearly all of the ski resorts in the Tahoe/Truckee area have had to shut down operations because, ultimately, there’s just too much snow:
Sugar Bowl will remain closed today due to lack of access to the resort via I-80, plus high winds and avalanche conditions. The storm will let up some tomorrow so we're prepping the mountain to reopen tomorrow 1/12. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this storm of storms! #eatsleepshovel
While the snow emergency is an undoubtedly serious situation, some individuals in the area have been posting to Instagram to show that they’re taking the storms in stride: