Snow Pounds Sierras
NOW, LET’S CHECK IN WITH A STATE WHERE A LOT OF OUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES ARE GROWN: ALL SUMMER AND FALL, CALIFORNIA HAD BEEN STRUGGLING WITH A DROUGHT – THAT MEANS A LACK OF RAIN.
BUT NO MORE! THE STATE HAS SEEN MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF RAIN RECENTY – BUT FOR SOME PARTS OF THE STATE, IT’S BEEN LESS OF A BLESSING AND MORE OF CURSE. IN THE FLATLAND COMMUNITY OF OROVILLE CALIFORNIA, FOR INSTANCE, RESIDENTS HAVE BEEN EVACUATED AFTER THE OROVILLE DAM GAVE IN TO EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF WATER.
THE CAUSE FOR THE FLOODING IS NOT JUST RAIN, BUT ALSO MELTING SNOW FROM THE SIERRA NEVADA MOUNTAIN RANGE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STATE. UP NEXT, DENNIS SHANAHAN BRINGS US TO THE HEART OF ONE INTENSE SIERRA NEVADA SNOW STORM.
THIS IS THE NEW NORMAL IN THE SIERRA. OR YOU COULD SAY, THE OLD NORMAL. THE WAY WINTER USED TO LOOK, BUT JUST HASN'T OVER THE PREVIOUS FOUR YEARS. WE ASKED THE DEPENDABLE TOW TRUCK DRIVER HOW MANY CARS HE'D PULLED OUT OF THE SNOW SINCE THE START OF HIS SHIFT.
"Only about ten." Reporter: "Only ten? Only? Seems like a lot. You're a busy man." "Yeah we'll be going all night long I'm sure."
EARLIER, IN THE AFTERNOON WE MET THIS CAR-FULL OF SNOWBOARDERS...
"Smashed this right in here. Just kind of smashed back in..."
THEY WERE THANKFUL THEIR LAND CRUISER WAS STILL UPRIGHT AFTER A SPIN-OUT INTO A SNOWBANK.
"All happened in one second. We were going straight. And then we were going sideways, you know." "I thought we were gonna roll right over. I thought we were done."
TRAVELERS RETURNING TO THE VALLEY FROM SUPER BOWL PARTIES IN RENO MAY HAVE WISHED FOR A BREAK IN THE WEATHER. BUT IT NEVER CAME. IT HAS BEEN SNOWING NON-STOP SINCE THE END OF OVERTIME.
"It's been crazy." "Even with chains, there's a lot of trucks weaving and bobbing on the road. We slid once, and we've got an F-150."
STILL, CALTRANS IS DOING A GOOD JOB KEEPING INTESTATE 80 OPEN. IT'S THE SIDE ROADS WHERE YOU'RE MORE LIKELY TO GET STUCK. NO AMOUNT OF
SHOVELING COULD FREE THIS FOUR WHEEL DRIVE. --nats-- A SNOWPLOW CAME ALONG AND HELPED GET THE CAR FREE AND BACK ON THE ROAD. IF IT WEREN'T FOR THE SNOWPLOWS WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK, TRAVEL IN THESE MOUNTAINS WOULD BE AT A STANDSTILL. THE NEW NORMAL IS A WAKE UP CALL TO TRAVELERS FROM OUT OF STATE.
"It's kind of a surprise that California is this cold. And this much snowy weather."
SHE'S ON HER WAY FROM MONTANA TO DISNEYLAND. AFTER THIS DRIVE, A RIDE ON THE MATTERHORN WILL BE A NICE WAY TO RELAX.