Winter storm brings heavy snow to Rocky Mountains; avalanche closes road to ski resort

Winter storm Helena wreaked havoc in the western region of the US - as parts of Nevada, Idaho, Utah and Colorado braced for impact.

According to KRNV, an avalanche closed the road to Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe.

The Nevada Department of Transportation reported State Route 878 was closed in both directions.

Avalanche warnings were issued in the Sierra areas with 4 to 5 feet of snowfall expected.

The winter weather gave Delta reason to issue a 2-day travel advisory for Salt Lake City, and the following cities:

  • Aspen, CO (ASE)
  • Colorado Springs, CO (COS)
  • Denver, CO (DEN)
  • Grand Junction, CO (GJT)
  • Hayden/Steamboat Springs, CO (HDN)
  • Montrose, CO (MTJ)
  • Reno, NV (RNO)
  • Vail, CO (EGE)

The company said the advisory was issued because of forecasted weather in the Rocky Mountains Region.

Heavy rains from the same system hit the San Francisco area Wednesday - setting off mud and rock slides in the Santa Cruz mountains, according to The Associated Press.

GALLERY | Snow storm slams Idaho

There were no immediate reports of injuries or property damage from the storm, which should boost the snowpack that provides about a third of California's water in normal years for drinking, farming and wildlife when it melts in warm, dry months.

The heaviest snow was expected in areas with elevations above 4,500 feet in northern and central parts of California. Mountainous areas below 4,500 feet could still get two to three feet of snow, forecasters said.

The storm was fantastic news for skiers. The Mount Rose, Squaw Valley, Homewood and Kingvale ski resorts had already received 30 inches of fresh snow between Sunday and Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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