More snow is on the way as California tries to emerge from this weekend's blizzards



Large parts of California’s Sierra Nevada remain inaccessible after authorities closed a 100-mile section of Interstate 80 as the biggest snowstorm of the season brought more than 10 feet of snow in some areas.

Those totals could inch higher as more snow is forecast for the area this week, though nothing close to what residents faced last weekend. Forecasters at the National Weather Service said the highest elevations could get another foot of snow, while lower areas could see up to an additional five inches.

The storm over the weekend resulted in thousands of people not having power and shut down ski resorts. Drivers who were attempting to navigate the roadways were often stranded, but no fatalities or serious injuries were reported.

Donner Pass saw roughly 69-inches of snowfall over the past three days, with 98 inches at the summit. One ski resort, Homewood Mountain Resort, in the Lake Tahoe area saw 87 inches of snow and was still without power on Sunday. (It planned to open at a delayed time Monday with limited trails.)

Service has been restored to most of the 280,000 customers who lost power. Pacific Gas & Electric currently reports less than 4,300 people who are suffering outages. And winds are subsiding, allowing for workers to clear the affected portions of I-80.

Forecasters were especially worried about this storm, using blunt language in warning residents to brace for “life-threatening blizzard conditions.”  The upside to the monster snowstorm is it will prevent California from experiencing a drought in the months to come. The state’s mountain snowpack, which plays a critical role in filling reservoirs, currently stands at 80% of average, versus just 28% at the start of the year.

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