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Severe winter weather brings snow in California, other states

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California – A severe blizzard has wreaked havoc across the western United States, accumulating over 10 feet of snow in some areas. Over the weekend, numerous households in California and Nevada experienced power outages, and Utah faced similar challenges. The region also contended with strong winds exceeding 100 mph and heavy rainfall, which led to a tornado dropping debris onto an elementary school in Madera County, California.

The adverse weather conditions stranded many drivers on Interstate 80 between Reno and Sacramento, prompting the closure of approximately 100 miles of this vital highway. There were numerous reports of vehicular accidents and drivers losing control. In Salt Lake City, Utah, a Major League Soccer match proceeded despite the severe weather, which included heavy snowfall, a two-hour delay at the start, and a pause due to lightning.

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The extreme weather forced several ski resorts to shut down because of the significant snowfall and reduced visibility. In California alone, more than 7,000 homes lost electricity, while near Las Vegas, power outages affected nearly 29,000 households on Saturday. The storm began on Thursday and is predicted to persist with cold, snowy, and stormy conditions into Wednesday.

A blizzard warning was issued for a 300-mile section of the Sierra Nevada mountains on Sunday, with more snowfall expected. Truckee, near Lake Tahoe in California, was one of the most severely impacted areas, with homes, businesses, and vehicles buried under more than 10 feet of snow. Local resident Dubravka Tomasin described the blizzard as “pretty harrowing.”

National Weather Service meteorologist William Churchill said the conditions represented a “life-threatening concern” and said snow could pile up to more than 12ft deep by the end of Sunday in higher regions. He described the storm as an “extreme blizzard,” adding: “It’s certainly just about as bad as it gets in terms of the snow totals and the winds. It doesn’t get much worse than that.”

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Other attractions forced to close over the weekend included Yosemite National Park in California, while authorities also warned of an ongoing “high to extreme” danger of avalanches in mountain regions.

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