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Blizzard paralyzes parts of California

A winter storm has blanketed parts of the US state of California in a thick blanket of snow. The power went out in tens of thousands of households. Life-threatening conditions threaten in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

A severe winter storm brought heavy snow and ice in the US state of California. The weather service issued a blizzard warning for mountainous communities in the Sierra Nevada, where up to 10 feet of snow was expected in some places. People had to prepare for life-threatening conditions, it was said on Friday evening (local time). “Travel should be limited to emergencies only.”

Several schools remained closed on Friday. The storm also caused power outages. More than 40,000 households in the region are without electricity, the US website PowerOutage said.

Highway closed

Wind gusts with speeds of up to 230 kilometers per hour were measured in the Palisades Tahoe winter sports area, according to media reports. Several ski resorts would have had to close, also due to the high risk of avalanches.

In addition, Interstate 80, one of the country's most important highways, was closed over a total length of around 160 kilometers due to snow and icy conditions.

The weather service and highway police warned of so-called whiteout conditions, in which drivers can lose orientation due to extremely limited visibility.

Driving fast was not allowed on Interstate 80 in Truckee, California – and was probably hardly possible anyway.

Yosemite Park closed

In view of the storm, Yosemite National Park, which is popular with tourists, also closed until further notice. It is also in the Sierra Nevada. The winter storm could develop into one of the most severe since the 1970s, it said.

In the USA, blizzards are called violent snowstorms with sharp drops in temperature.

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