SIERRA — Business was booming on a snowy day in the Sierra, especially for the last stop before Echo Summit on Highway 50.
“Well, a lot of people are buying chains. And hot chocolate, something to stay warm with,” said Evan Ivy, an employee at Tahoe Paradise Chevron. “There are a lot of people unprepared without the chains, so having our department here where people can get the chains is a big help.”
The Tahoe Paradise Chevron was the place to be Sunday for many drivers that were told to turn back.
“They wanted us to turn around and make sure we had chains on to be safe, so that’s what we are doing,” said Justin Rodriguez, traveling home to the East Bay Area from Tahoe Sunday.
A messy day on the roads with spinouts and closures left Cristian Yanes of Fairfield stuck on the side of the road near Myers.
“We had pretty much slid out a little bit up the road, and we were left there about four to five hours,” Yanes said.
A local good Samaritan saved the day with a free tow. A case of beer was the currency for the act of kindness.
“Thank you so much again, bro, seriously,” Yanes said to Paul Romero, his savior for the day.
“We are people; we help each other, right? That’s what this life is all about; that’s what we are on this planet to do,” Romero said.
The soft powdery snowfall is welcomed news for ski resorts in Tahoe, especially so for Sierra-at-Tahoe, opening this weekend for the first time since damage caused by the Caldor fire.
“Even just coming today, it looks a lot different. I’m really glad that they were able to open,” said Arya Saini, who enjoyed Sunday at the resort.
The resort was busy opening weekend, a welcomed sight after the Caldor Fire burned 1,600 of its 2,000 acres.
“There aren’t quite as many trails open right now but definitely still a lot of people,” said Saini.
Still, the weekend storm caught some off guard.
“It snowed a lot harder than we thought it would,” said Rodriguez.
“We are a little shaky. We hydroplaned a few times and everything,” said Yanes.
Another hazard on the roadways, with so much rain falling Saturday, an icy mix can cause issues for drivers. Snow on the roads carries the potential for ice underneath.
Caltrans reminds drivers to take it slow for Mountain travel from Sunday through Monday.
The National Weather Service extended its winter storm warning through Monday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m.