Snow a welcome sight to businesses, visitors in the Sierra

The latest storm won't make a meaningful dent in California's drought, but it's a welcome sight for Sierra businesses and visitors.
February 7, 2014 6:03:31 PM PST
Rain in the Bay Area means snow in the Sierra. On Interstate 80, chains are required on all vehicles from Baxter to Truckee, except for four-wheel drive vehicles with snow tires. Chains are also required on Highway 50 from Twin Bridges to Meyers. All this snow is obviously good news for skiers heading up to the Sierra this weekend.

It's not as if this latest storm is going to make any meaningful dent in California's drought, but it sure feels good.

"I mean, it's beautiful," San Francisco resident Rashid Anasse said. "People complain about the drought. So that's good sign, it keeps the mind off the drought."

The snow is bringing its share of usual headaches on Interstate 80 in the Sierra. The CHP had to deal with spinouts and collisions and motorists having to install chains.

"I know what I'm doing it's just the wheel hull is so small and my arms are so fat, I can't get them behind to tie up the wheel without my hands freezing," one driver said.

But for the most part, no one's complaining; especially chain installers who've had little work so far this season.

When asked what it's like, one chain installer said, "It's been busy but it's been nice because we haven't been busy all year."

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort has called in more people to work. They expect as much as three feet of snow this weekend. As a result, they're opening more runs, from 25 to 45.

"We're opening up our Mt. Disney lift tomorrow," said Peter Avedschmidt with Sugar Bowl Ski Resort. "That's going to be open the rest of the season and expanding a lot of terrain so from here on out, we're just going to be expanding more and more so hopefully everything will keep cooperating weather wise."

Skiers and snowboarders were wondering if this day would come. Some even relied on superstition in hopes it would help bring snow.

"I drove my convertible with the top down for an hour hoping I would get rained on just because we need the water so bad," Los Gatos resident Peter Binkley said.

"We were sacrificing the inside of our car just to have this snow," said Binkley's friend with a laugh.

And it paid off.

"Best day of the season so far, the snow is fantastic," one skier said.

The hope is that there will be more snow by President's weekend, two weeks away, which is traditionally a big weekend for skiers.


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