By Steve Large

DONNER SUMMIT (CBS13) — A dusting of snowflakes, accompanied by frigid temperatures and gusty winds were the first signs of this massive snowstorm arriving over the high country.

Those choosing to travel on Interstate 80 urged caution.

“It’s a little bit scary because you don’t know if you are driving on black ice or not,” motorist Terry Bayagan said.

Caltrans warning signs are up along the roadway. The agency put dozens of snow plows on standby.

They’ve doubled staffing the next few days bracing for this treacherous forecast. A blizzard warning goes into effect Thursday morning, creating possible whiteout conditions.

“If the conditions worsen to where we have blizzard whiteout conditions, we’ll pull our employees off and assess the situation,” Caltrans supervisor Matt Dealba said.

Barney Whitmire lives in Kingvale.

Still wearing flip flops ahead of the snowstorm, he did stock up on groceries, lit his fireplace, and bought candles in case of power outages.

“That’s the one thing that really gets me,” Whitmire said. “I don’t have a generator. Wish I did.”

The first big winter blast, coming the first day of March. A March miracle? Or March madness? This late snowstorm is forecast to pack a powerful punch.


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