Storm updates: snow continues to fall, I-5 reopens between Yreka and Redding

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald

Update, 9:50 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 28

Although the snow has not stopped falling, Interstate 5 was reopened Thursday morning after being closed for more than 24 hours between Yreka and Redding.

Caltrans District 2 announced via Twitter that vehicles traveling northbound on I-5 are being allowed through Fawndale. Passenger vehicles are being checked for chains and only 30 big rigs are being allowed through per hour, as of about 7:30 a.m.

Southbound I-5 traffic is being checked for chains at South Yreka, Caltrans said. Oregon Department of Transportation is metering traffic through at Ashland, Ore. Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles with snow tread tires on all four wheels at Edgewood.

"Please remember that there is a significant amount of traffic backed up on I-5 that will be waiting to get through and conditions can change at any time, possibly leading to more closures," Caltrans tweeted. "Please keep this in mind when considering travel at this time."

Meanwhile, the Winter Storm Warning that has been in effect since Tuesday morning remains in effect until 4 p.m. today, with 3 to 7 additional inches of snow possible during the daylight hours, according to the NWS.

Snow remains in the forecast through the week and into the weekend.

Update, 2:30 p.m. – Storm still packs a punch

Snow continues to fall in the Mt. Shasta area, even after two feet of the white stuff have fallen in the town and surrounding areas. 

The Winter Weather Warning remains in effect until Thursday, Jan. 28 at 4 p.m.

Interstate 5 between Redding and Yreka is still closed to through traffic. There is no estimate for when it will reopen.

Update noon – Crews making progress pulling out stuck motorists

Southbound Interstate 5 is open again, approximately four miles south of Louie Road, following multiple spun-out vehicles, Caltrans reported. 

Meanwhile, crews are making progress on I-5, helping pull out drivers who were stuck due to the storm.

"We know you would like to see I-5 reopened sooner rather than later but we’re working to make the roadway safe before you go!" Caltrans District 2 tweeted.

Update 10:30 a.m. – I-5 closed through much of Siskiyou

Interstate 5 is currently closed to through traffic between South Yreka and Fawndale in Shasta County, according to Caltrans District 2's Twitter feed.

There are also two closures in between those points, southbound at Edgewood and southbound at Antlers, Caltrans reported at about 9:45 a.m.

In addition, southbound traffic on Interstate 5 is blocked as of 10 a.m. approximately four  miles south of Louie Road due to several spun out vehicles, Caltrans tweeted.

Original story – waking up to winter

Snow fell across Siskiyou County overnight, causing many traffic snarls and stranding some motorists on I-5 near Weed, according to Caltrans.

It was a long night for Caltrans, Black Butte Towing and California Highway Patrol personnel, who worked throughout the night to rescue motorists stuck in the snow on Interstate 5 between Weed and Louie Road, the Yreka CHP reported via Facebook.

"There are reports of snow drifts 5 and 6 feet high on the freeway," Yreka CHP said around midnight on Wednesday. "If you are stuck in this mess, help is on the way, we are trying as quickly as we can."

As of 1 a.m., northbound I-5 at North Yreka was reopened with no more chain restrictions.

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.