Ski resorts join local agencies in urging drivers to avoid Tahoe over next 3 days due to storm

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Thursday, February 29, 2024
Ski resorts urge drivers to avoid going to Tahoe over next 3 days
Caltrans, NWS and local ski resorts are urging drivers not to drive to the Tahoe Area over the next three days due to winter storms.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Bay Area drivers even thinking about heading up to the Sierra are being warned not to go by agencies like Caltrans, the National Weather Service and, now, even some ski resorts.

All of them are saying, you are much better off delaying your trip, instead of getting stuck.

"We're hunkering down, guys. That's what we're going to do during it," said Kevin "Coop" Cooper, a spokesperson for the Cali Pass Resorts, which represents multiple ski resorts.

The National Weather Service says up to 12 feet of snow is expected to fall in the Tahoe area over the next three days.

BLIZZARD WARNING: Caltrans asks skiers, snowboarders to stay home ahead of massive Sierra snowstorm

Now "Coop is urging skiers to think twice about their plans.

"Do not come up. Not now. It's too much. You don't want to put the burden on Caltrans and CHP. The resorts are not going to be able to open," he said. "They will try, maybe some of their lower elevation lifts, but the winds associated and with the amount of snow that we're going to see, give the mountain teams a break."

He says it's a forecast unlike anything he's seen in the past three decades.

"Multiple times last year, people did not heed the warning, and they came up and they got stuck and the stories that got out there, 'Oh my god. How treacherous was it?'" he said. "Why would you want to put your family through that?"

Which is why they're bracing to lose power too.

RELATED: Massive snow up to 12 feet could fall in Sierra with major winter storm this weekend, NWS says

"In areas that we expect will be impacted by the snow, we have pre-staged our crews, and we're also preparing with things like helicopters, snow cats and four-wheel drive," said Tamar Sarkissian, a PG&E spokesperson.

PG&E says they're preparing for snow to fall at altitudes as low as 2,000 feet.

They are opening an emergency operations center to make sure crews are in the right place.

"We're going to be working 24-7," Sarkissian said. "When we see that, we can have access issues. We can see damage to our equipment, so it really can become an issue for some of our customers outside of the Bay, and we are prepared for this."

Resorts are, instead, encouraging drivers to head up after the storm passes on Monday.

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