Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review. Back in early January the Sierra snowpack was only at about 69 percent of its historical average for that time of year. As of Tuesday, it was at 146 percent of the average. That’s thanks in part to a series of wicked storms that came through the region over the course of Presidents’ Day Weekend—and, according to the National Weather Service in Reno, it looks like the weather will be pretty active through the end of the month.
I got to see the crazy snowfall—and the positively insane roads it caused—firsthand over the weekend. My fiancé and I left for Napa Valley on Valentine’s Day and came back over Donner Summit on Saturday Feb. 16. The drive to California wasn’t so bad, but the drive home was awful. Despite warnings about dangerous road conditions from the California Highway Patrol and the state’s Department of Transportation, thousands of people loaded up their cars with skis and snowboards and flocked to the Sierra ski resorts—or at least tried. It took us eight hours to get from Napa to Reno—normally a three-hour drive—on some of the worst roads I’ve ever witnessed.
I think everyone who found themselves on Interstate 80 or Highway 50 over the holiday weekend must have felt at least a bit foolish. I certainly did, though I wasn’t ready to call off my weekend vacation. In the end, I didn’t have to, and that’s thanks to the people who work tirelessly to make that journey safe for travelers all year long. So, thank you, highway patrol officers and Caltrans and Nevada Division of Transportation employees. Thanks for plowing the roads and stopping folks to check that they have either all-wheel-drive vehicles or chains. Thanks for working the social media outlets to which we all turn for information. Thanks for helping to keep us all as safe as possible. You rock.