Dangerous winds in the Sierra toppled a semi-trailer truck, downed power lines and closed a stretch of highway in Southern California on Monday ahead of a winter storm expected to bring up to 2 feet of snow to mountain tops around Lake Tahoe.
U.S. Highway 6 was closed due to downed power lines south of Yosemite National Park near Bishop, California. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries after a tractor trailer flipped on U.S. Highway 395 near Pearsonville about 150 miles north of Los Angeles.
The road was later reopened.
A wind gust of 94 mph was reported Monday morning at Mammoth Lakes Airport.
Strong winds ahead of a storm front were blamed for driving a brushfire in Los Padres National Forest, northwest of Los Angeles. The fire quickly spread over thousands of acres of dry, brushy canyons and evacuations were called for some streets in the Goleta foothill area.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Tahoe area from 4 p.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Thursday. Eight to 18 inches (20 to 45 centimeters) of snow was possible at lake level with winds gusting as high as 60 mph (96 kph).
Snow also was forecast across most of central Nevada and as far south as the mountains around Las Vegas.
Snow totals could reach 3 feet by Thanksgiving Day along the Sierra Crest, the weather service said.
“Travel could be very difficult to impossible,” the service said. “If you are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday … finish your travels by midday Tuesday.”
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