Storm updates: What we know Tuesday
Snow snarls traffic
A winter storm is causing treacherous roadway conditions throughout the higher elevations of Northern California tonight.
Spinouts are being reported at numerous spots on Interstate 5 in Siskiyou county.
Northbound traffic on I-5 was being held at Fawndale 10 miles north of Redding because of the bad weather.
Both lanes of Highway 97 are closed six miles south of MacDoel due to the snow.
I-5's southbound lanes are closed four miles south of Yreka due to snow.
Drivers can check this site https://roads.dot.ca.gov/, for current travel conditions and chain requirements.
The District 2 Caltrans Twitter page also gives current information.
At least a foot of snow has fallen in downtown Mount Shasta, and it is still falling.
Highway 97 closed at Dorris, blocked in Weed
The Yreka Area California Highway Patrol announced it was closing Highway 97 to traffic due to snowy conditions and "numerous collisions" occuring on Interstate 5.
In addition, Caltrans is reporting that Highway 97 is blocked in Weed due to multiple traffic collisions. They were working to reopen the northbound I-5 South Dunsmuir on ramp and off ramp, which were both blocked due to multiple disabled vehicles.
Caltrans is also reporting that Scott Mountain is closed due to snow and winter weather conditions.
Chain controls put in place north of Redding
Big rigs heading north of Redding are being screeened for chains so they can proceed past an Interstate 5 checkpoint at Fawndale Road.
The checkpoint is about 10 miles north of Redding. The California Department of Transportation posted that they were screening for chains at 1:05 p.m.
Mount Shasta Fire Department offers safety tips
Mount Shasta Fire Department personnel is asking residents to prepare for the upcoming storm, which could bring power outages and downed trees.
"Be prepared, plan now," the Mount Shasta Fire Department told residents in a press release Tuesday afternoon. "Residents should monitor changing weather conditions by listening to the local media outlets, update their plans and supply and emergency kits. Pay close attention to the changing weather conditions and plan accordingly."
The Mount Shasta Fire Department offered the following safety tips:
• Always keep at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food in your home.
• Do not leave your pets outside for a long period of time.
• Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include ice scrapers, jumper cables, tow chains, blankets, flashlight, first aid kit, water and a road map.
• Dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
• Make sure that you have fresh batteries on hand for radios and flashlights.
• Have cell phones fully charged
• Make sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas.
• Properly vent kerosene heaters and ensure any generators are operated outside and away from an open window or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Never burn charcoal indoors.
• Nonessential traveling is discouraged but if you must travel during this storm, we remind you inspect your vehicle(s) before traveling. Always carry snow chains, leave plenty of room between you and the other vehicles, and if you are driving on snow or ice-covered roadways, reduce your speed.
Residents who live in the Mt. Shasta area are bracing themselves for a snowstorm that could bring more than two feet of snow to their backyards, with up to two inches per hour expected from late this afternoon through Wednesday morning.
Because Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers are printed in Medford, Ore., our print company has decided to delay delivery until travel over the Siskiyous is safe. This means that subscribers who get their newspaper in the U.S. Mail should expect delivery on Thursday, weather permitting. Copies of the Mount Shasta Herald, Dunsmuir News and Weed Press will be delivered to vendors as soon as possible after arriving to our Mount Shasta office.
According to the National Weather Service's Winter Storm Warning, total snow accumulations of 15 to 28 inches are predicted to fall in the Mt. Shasta area between noon today and Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m.
In preparation for heavy snow, the gates on Everitt Memorial Highway and Castle Lake Road will be closed at noon, according to a Facebook post from the Shasta Trinity National Forest.
The Winter Storm Warning includes the cities of Dunsmuir, McCloud, and Mount Shasta. In addition to the snow, moderate to strong winds with gusts of 40 to 65 miles per hour are expected from Black Butte Summit to Weed and at elevations above 5,000 feet.
Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation Siskiyou County resident and has lived in Mount Shasta and Weed her entire life.