South Lake Tahoe Digging Out
Massive machines are moving snow trying to get the city of South Lake Tahoe fully operational again, clearing traffic lanes and access roads for school buses.
Massive machines are moving snow trying to get the city of South Lake Tahoe fully operational again.
Traffic on Highway 50 across the state line is down to one lane in most areas because of snow built up on the median spilling onto the roadway. Caltrans was using a massive snow blower to eat up the snow and spit it back into dump trucks. The trucks then head up to a collection area, where the snow sits for the season.
"It's stored here and then it just does a natural melt once spring hits or, you know, whenever the weather warms up it starts melting," says Bill Netto with Caltrans, "And then it goes in, we have some ponds built over here, it settles out into those ponds." Netto says there have been about 5,700 truck loads of snow moved this year, with about 400-500 more coming from the most recent storm. Moving the snow helps keep traffic flowing through town but also prevents plows from pushing it into store fronts.
There have been seven snow days for the Tahoe Unified School District this year, which is rare. The latest issue is not snow at the school, but in the neighborhoods. Many streets are only wide enough for one car at a time, making it dangerous for buses and students waiting for them. The district is working with the city to get routes cleared as quickly as possible and hope to have students back to school Wednesday.
"This morning when I left for work, the street was as wide as my Subaru," says Stephanie Hannah about the road leading to the Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School. Her daughter is a senior out South Tahoe High School, "Fortunately this is my last one, she's a senior this year. So when she gets called off, I can still go to work. But if I had youngsters it would be kind of a challenge right now having seven snow days."
There are days built in to the schools' calendar to make up three of the seven missed, and the district will apply for a state exemption from making up the others.
"They (students) love pressure putting on the superintendent for a snow day so they can go up ski," says Dr. James Tarwater, Superintendent of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District, "So it's a win-win sometimes when the mountain's open, but the mountain hasn't been open, because we've had so much snow."