RENO, Nev. (AP) — A potent winter storm continued to wallop the Sierra and northern Nevada on Wednesday, dumping up to 6 feet of snow at the higher elevations around Lake Tahoe and shutting down an interstate highway.
A 76-mile stretch of Interstate 80, the main route linking northern Nevada and California, remained closed early Wednesday because of heavy snow and poor visibility, the California Highway Patrol said. The route was shut down Tuesday because of multiple spinouts and jackknifed trucks.
U.S. 50 over Echo Summit also was closed for avalanche control.
An avalanche at a California ski resort killed a veteran ski patrol member Tuesday at Squaw Valley USA.
Officials said Andrew Entin, 41, was working on avalanche controls about 8 a.m. when he was caught in a slide and partially buried.
Another member of the ski patrol dug him out while emergency crews responded to the scene, but he later died at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, said Squaw Valley Fire Department spokesman Pete Bansen.
"The Squaw Valley family unites in wishing Andrew Entin's wife and family our deepest sympathy. Our hearts go out to them at this difficult time," said Nancy Cushing, the resort's chief executive officer. "We will not forget Andrew, his camaraderie and his courage."
The Sierra Avalanche Center said avalanche danger remains high in steep terrain at or above the treeline.
In the valleys of western Nevada, rain on Tuesday turned to snow overnight as temperatures dropped. Wet roadways turned to ice.
By dawn, up to 6 inches of snow blanketed the valley regions. The Nevada Highway Patrol reported numerous accidents during the morning commute, but no serious injuries.
Washoe County School District officials delayed the start of classes for two hours.
The Lake Tahoe region and Reno-Sparks area remained under a winter storm warning through Wednesday morning.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
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