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Tahoe Life

As many of you are aware, Tahoe is experiencing an historic January. In the first week of January, we received 7 feet of snow. The following weekend, we received 6 inches of rain. Then, last week, the real blizzard hit, and we received an additional 8-12 feet of snow, with 3-4 feet falling in one night! Squaw Valley reports their biggest January on record was 1982 with 175 inches. This year, they report 180 inches in January by Friday, January 13! Over the past 45 years, average January snowfall is 70 inches. We are over double that in the first two weeks of January, with more snow in the forecast!

While we appreciate mother nature's gift and are thrilled for the sustenance the snow will provide to both our ski season and our lake and river levels, this amount of snow in such a short period of time wreaked a bit of havoc. Here are a few examples:

  • Power disruptions began occurring on Sunday, January 8 and ran through January 15, with a few areas still out of power. That is going on 9 days!
  • Regional power outages occurred on Tuesday evening, January 10, when all of Truckee and the basin were disrupted. In Truckee, a previous mudslide on Highway 80 had taken out the town's back-up power. On Tuesday night, the main power went out, so the entire area lost service for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Highway 80 was closed frequently, affecting deliveries
  • Without power and no incoming deliveries to the area, many gas stations were closed and grocery stores ran out of inventory
  • Cell phone service was disrupted and land lines were out without power, so communication was challenging
  • Many road closures were in place, and driving was generally unsafe
  • Internet at our office was out from Sunday, January 8 through Thursday, January 13
  • Our office phone lines have been down since Sunday, January 8, and we are hoping they return today
  • Most ski areas were closed Sunday, January 8 through Wednesday, January 12 due to power outages and avalanche dangers
  • Avalanches danger was high and avalanches occurred throughout the region
  • Trees were heavy with the snowpack and many snapped onto roadways and power lines creating additional hazards
  • Schools were cancelled for the entire week. As this was following the Christmas break and before a holiday weekend, most kids were out of school for an entire month!

Adding to the challenges, Friday, January 13 was the kick off to a holiday weekend, when Tahoe was anticipating running at maximum capacity. All of our vacation rentals were booked out, and many were still without power!

It was truly amazing to watch the community come together in what was being deemed locally as a state of emergency. Plows, the Public Utility District, our police officers and firefighters were working around the clock to restore order. Our local radio station continually communicated updates and hazards.

At our office, everyone stepped up, shining with commitment and dedication to getting the job done, from finding pockets of wifi to create pop-up call centers, to pulling extra shifts, personally checking in on guests, and so much more. We are proud to have such a strong team in place, thriving in the face of adversity. 

While few remain without power, much of Tahoe’s daily operations have returned to normal. Roads are clear, businesses are open, and we welcomed the crowds for the Martin Luther King holiday weekend for some truly phenomenal skiing.

Now, with the dust settled, Tahoe is absolutely stunning in a blanket of white. Nothing could better remind us of both the power and the beauty of Mother Nature. It’s a magical winter wonderland out there, and we invite you to come experience it with us!

Take a moment to peruse our gallery of blizzard photos and the holiday weekend when the sun came out.