Placer County officials urge foothills and North Lake Tahoe residents and visitors to prepare for challenges heading into the holiday weekend

Published Dec. 30, 2021

 While the weather forecast anticipates clearer days over the holiday weekend, Placer County officials are urging travelers to be aware of current conditions and challenges in the foothill communities and the North Lake Tahoe region.  

County crews and partner agencies are continuing to clear roads from nearly 10 feet of snow over the last five days in parts of Placer County, but downed trees and utilities have caused extensive road closures, travel complications and damage to infrastructure. The county has currently proclaimed a local emergency due to the weather conditions. Another winter storm is expected starting Monday, which may further complicate recovery efforts and impact return travel for visitors. 

Placer County officials say while they cannot deter visitors and vacation homeowners from traveling to North Lake Tahoe this holiday weekend, guests and residents should come with plenty of patience, awareness, and an expectation that many challenges remain and delays are to be expected. 

“We want people to understand there are still significant storm-related issues remaining throughout the foothills and North Lake Tahoe region,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “Many streets have limited access and will present significant travel delays. Our county crews, along with agency partners, have been working around the clock since Christmas eve to clear roads and infrastructure. Unfortunately, the high volume of snow this season has presented significant challenges. We encourage residents and travelers to remain vigilant, monitor weather and roads information and prepare appropriately for the significant weather we are experiencing throughout eastern Placer County.”  

County public works crews are continuously plowing the 150 miles of streets that fall within their area of responsibility. Caltrans is responsible for plowing the highways.

Area businesses - retail, restaurants and even resorts - may also be challenged to be fully operational. 

Placer officials recommend that anyone planning to stay in vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods should check with their host or rental company in advance to ensure the home has power and is accessible. They also advise checking resort, hotel and recreation websites prior to driving there to learn what to expect. 

Visitors should consider driving a four-wheel drive vehicle and are required to have chains (cables are not recommended). Travelers should also prepare by having water, food, blankets and extra clothing available in cars. Drivers must ensure they have enough gas to keep them running through significant delays. 

Residents and travelers can view real-time traffic, power outage and other storm-related information at www.placer.ca.gov/1379/Current-Incidents. Winter preparation tips can be found at www.placer.ca.gov/Winterprep, as well as details about safe travel, current weather and general know-before-you-go information at www.gotahoenorth.com.