SODA SPRINGS (CBS13) — It began as a calm winter afternoon in the Sierra at 1 p.m. Wednesday, and by 7 p.m. blizzard conditions started to brew.

By late Wednesday visibility was so low drivers could only see a few feet in front of their vehicles driving through Donner Summit.

Traveling on a largely deserted I-80, the CBS13 Sierra crew pulled over to talk to Celine Wang who said her brother is visiting from Taiwan and seeing this kind of snow for the first time.

“Just to see this – it’s a once in a lifetime experience,” Wang said.

But five minutes later, the snow got the best of our news truck and the crew found themselves stuck.

READ: Heavy Rain Wreaks Havoc Around Sacramento County

Luckily, three snowboarders came to the rescue with shovels, and shortly after they sped off to safety.

Earlier Wednesday at the Truckee Airport, the crew spotted a parked plane sitting only on its back wheels. The safety control manager explained the weight of the overnight snow weighed down the plane, causing it to tilt.

At Mountain Hardware Jack Napton says he’s seen a steady stream of visitors coming in desperate for chains.


“Of course they need the other things, the sand and the ice melt and shovels and the winter gear, you need hats and coats,” Napton said.

CHP called these driving conditions unsafe with so much snow.

Even snowplows are struggling to keep up. Minutes after one plow went by at Donner Summit, the road was blanketed again in fresh snow.