Snow emergency declared in the Lake Tahoe area as residents take shelter

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.

RELATED: Huge storms could deliver 20 feet of snow to California in the next week

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.

RELATED: Avalanche danger forces Arapahoe Basin to evacuate skiers

Sheriffs in Mono County, California are reporting that phone lines are down:

Meanwhile, in the city of Truckee, California, all power remains out as the town continues to be pounded by snow:

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:

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:

Not a good sign when the John Deere tractor gets stuck. The power is also now out.

A photo posted by JoeBruskyPhotography (@joebruskyphotography) on