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Storm blasts freezing air, blinding snow across Nevada

December 27, 2021 GMT
This image from video provided by Caltrans District 3 shows a closed westbound I-80 on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021. The road from Colfax, Calif., to the Nevada state line was closed due to heavy snowfall. (Caltrans District 3, via AP)
This image from video provided by Caltrans District 3 shows a closed westbound I-80 on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021. The road from Colfax, Calif., to the Nevada state line was closed due to heavy snowfall. (Caltrans District 3, via AP)
This image from video provided by Caltrans District 3 shows a closed westbound I-80 on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021. The road from Colfax, Calif., to the Nevada state line was closed due to heavy snowfall. (Caltrans District 3, via AP)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Winter storms blasted freezing air and blinding snow across northern Nevada on Monday, affecting travel and business, with Sierra Nevada highway passes closed, airport flights delayed and canceled and state offices shut down.

Nevada State Police reported several crashes in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area, and Interstate 80 remained closed due to poor visibility and heavy snow from the Nevada state line to Placer County, California.

Washoe County Emergency Management raised the avalanche danger to high for areas north of Lake Tahoe.

Several flights were affected Monday at Reno-Tahoe International Airport due to weather and COVID-19 staffing shortages across the country, the Reno Gazette Journal reported.

Airlines also canceled or delayed some departures at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, where skies were clear but forecasts said rain could come later in the week. Chain requirements were lifted for vehicles driving into snowy areas of Mount Charleston.

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Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak issued an order late Sunday telling nonessential state workers other than public safety and corrections personnel to remain home Monday.

Tire chains or four-wheel drive were required for vehicles on California and Nevada state highways and on U.S. 6 and U.S. 50.

U.S. 395 was closed in Washoe Valley after at least two wrecks sent at least six people to hospitals, the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District said.

Weather and travel advisories were in place on most roads across northern Nevada, with the National Weather Service in Elko warning of difficult driving due to wind gusts greater than 40 mph (64 kph) and the possibility of blowing and drifting snow.

The University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College canceled on campus in-person operations and classes.

The National Weather Service in Reno extended a weather advisory in Nevada to 7 p.m. Monday.

Frigid cold was expected to remain for most of the week, with high temperatures in the Reno area in the 20s and lows in the teens. Low temperatures in northeast Nevada were expected to be in the single digits.