CISCO GROVE (CBS13) — Caltrans issued mandatory chain controls for anyone driving along Interstate 80 or Highway 50 on Friday.
“If you’re driving up there and you don’t have chains and you’re not in a four-wheel-drive vehicle you will be turned around,” Caltrans spokesperson Steve Nelson said.
But for some, putting chains on tires is easier said than done.
“I’ve been here before but with my dad. I’ve never done it but it’s exciting to have this experience,” Jackie Guzman said.
Driving up to the mountains with her friends Friday, Guzman said the roads were treacherous.
“It’s pretty dangerous but I’m trying to keep my cool,” Guzman said.
I-80 was covered in slush for miles on Friday, causing some cars to spinout and traffic to come to a near stop.
“We were going really slow for the whole time but hopefully we get some chains on and we can go faster,” Mallory Brown said.
The Friday storm came with rain, snow, and cold temperatures, catching CalTrans off guard.
“It’s a little more than we expected,” Nelson said.
Nelson says it’s not unusual for weather in the Sierra to change on a dime. So travelers should be prepared for anything.
“We always encourage people to check conditions before we travel. You’d be surprised that there are people who drive up there in shorts and flip flops. Be prepared for winter conditions,” Nelson said.
Caltrans said temperatures will likely drop throughout the night, which means the slush on the road could freeze over, creating more dangerous conditions. If you’re headed out on the road, take it slow and don’t forget your chains.