By Jennifer McGraw

PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) – From the valley to the Sierra, severe weather blew through, sending some running for cover and forcing others to put on chains.

“You know it’s nasty, it really is,” said one driver.

Lightning lit up the sky Friday night, pelting penny-sized hail and sending sheets of rain sideways. In less than 15 minutes the storm had passed.

It’s been a series of events throughout the day. To the north, plows sent out as snow started falling, which meant mandatory chains for trucks and cars without 4-wheel drive near Blue Canyon.

“Yeah it’s not, not a good day to be out,” another driver said.

One Bay Area couple heading to Truckee learned that the hard way.

“We lost control. The back tires started to slide and we went sideways for three seconds and then did a 180 and then fell into this ditch right here,” said Francis Manaf from the Bay Area.

Traffic to Tahoe wasn’t bad till you hit the mandatory chains. Although it was only a four-mile stretch, it had many truck drivers jammed.

“They make us chain up the first time they see snowflakes,” one truck driver said.

But for some the slush and snow was a welcoming site.

“We were going to go to the desert, so I have canvas shoes on and a T-shirt. I did not expect this, so I am really cold but really surprised and happy,” said Michelle O’Callahan from Australia and facing real snow for the first time.

Families on spring break hit the slopes with 16 inches of fresh powder.

“It’s been awesome for a first experience we know how bad it’s been for the past five years,” said a skier.

Resorts like Sugar Bowl won’t be closing till late April giving some spring ski and borders and extended season.

Be sure to check the weather and grab chains before heading up through the mountains.

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