Northern California highway shut down by snow now reopen
REDDING, Calif. (AP) — A section of a major highway in Northern California reopened Thursday afternoon after a nearly 24-hour closure caused by blizzard conditions as the latest of back-to-back storms pushed through, authorities said.
Traffic resumed moving on a stretch of Interstate 5 north of the city of Redding around 1 p.m., said Haleigh Pike, a spokesperson for the California Department of Transportation. Redding is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of San Francisco.
Northbound lanes were shut down around 1:20 p.m. Wednesday as vehicles began getting stuck. The southbound side was closed about an hour later.
Winter weather warnings and advisories expired by late Thursday morning but the reopening took some time because highway and utility crews had to assess the roadway, remove hazardous trees and restore power lines.
South of San Francisco, a 40-mile (64-kilometer) stretch of the scenic Highway 1 in the Big Sur area reopened Wednesday evening after storm damage was cleaned up.
Storms this week have dumped large amounts snow in the mountains of drought-stricken California’s mountains and drenched lower elevations with heavy rain.
California highway authorities announced Thursday the seasonal closure of several major passes through the Sierra Nevada and sections of other state routes in the mountains due to accumulation of snow. The routes will remain closed until snow and debris are cleared and repairs are made in the spring.