Snow creating dangerous driving conditions in the Sierra

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- If you're planning a Thanksgiving in Lake Tahoe, you may be too late because of the dangerous driving conditions.

The first big snowstorm of the season is causing drivers all kinds of problems headed the Sierra. At one point on Tuesday, the CHP closed I-80 in both directions because of the conditions.

"There are crashes all over the place, traffic's not moving," CHP Officer Chris Nave said. "So if you can avoid it, if you can delay it a day, a day and a half, two days, please do because you're just going to get stuck like everyone else."

Nave said they responded to crashes and spinouts all day long.

The warning is not stopping some drivers heading up north the day before Thanksgiving.

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Traiano Nestor from Menlo Park is traveling to Sacramento, and then Tahoe for the holiday. He's been keeping an eye on the weather.

"It's been a little unnerving, just making sure I'm ready," Nestor said. "I don't need chains for my truck but if I need to, I'll probably just stop and get some chains."

Amanda Low and her husband are from Dallas. They stopped to get coffee off I-80 in Hercules.

"We flew into San Diego, visited relatives there," Low said. "Drove up here and now we're driving through the Sierras to get to Boise and then Utah by Sunday."

She said they had expected rainy weather coming to California for the week, but they're hoping for the best. "Hopefully smooth sailing. If not we'll find somewhere to hunker down," Low said.

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Larry Calma and his wife from Rodeo are heading to Fresno. They decided to skip driving today and are leaving at 3 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. "I don't like driving in traffic, I'm too old for that," Calma said.

AAA says the worst time to be on the road out of San Francisco is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday. They are predicting this will be the second busiest Wednesday before Thanksgiving on the roads since 2000, when AAA started tracking holiday traffic.

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