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Highway 89 Avalanche Traps Cars

The Highway 89 avalanche shut down the highway and trapped three cars.

TRUCKEE—An avalanche toppled down Highway 89 near Truckee on Monday, January 23, burying two cars and trapping the occupants inside, officials from the California Highway Patrol reported. The avalanche measured 200 feet wide and 12 feet high.

“The snow billowed down a hill about 12:45 a.m. and onto the highway between Alpine Meadows Road and Tahoe City,” said California Highway Patrol spokesperson, Officer Peter Mann.

Of the two buried cars, three people were trapped beneath the snow. It took officials 25 minutes to dig them out, Mann said.

“They were really smart,” Mann said of the trapped individuals. “They were really calm, called 911, got a hold of us, shut down their car and sat tight until we dug them out.”

There were no reports of any injuries, but the vehicles did sustain some damage.

Chain controls were in effect Monday morning on Highway 50. Chains were also required on Interstate 80.

Avalanche-control measures were put into effect. The leftover snow from the avalanche has been removed and cleared to the side of the road. 

“That’s a lot of snow removal and they also want to do avalanche control,” Mann said.

Highway 89 between Squaw Valley and Fairway in Tahoe City remains closed due to concerns from officials and crews about additional avalanches in the area.

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