By Scott Sonner
RENO — Emergency Crews rescued two people from a wash flowing with runoff from record rain in Las Vegas, and up a to half-foot of Sierra snow (15 centimeters) triggered chain controls around Lake Tahoe as a cold front moved across Nevada on Wednesday.
The National Weather Service also issued a winter weather advisory through 4 p.m. Thursday for much of central Nevada, where as much as 6 inches (15 cm) is possible in mountain areas.
The service said 0.35 inch of rain (9 millimeters) fell in Las Vegas through 8 a.m. Wednesday, breaking the old record for the date set in 1963.
The water in the wash where two people were rescued also caused an electrical short that set a school bus afire. Fire officials said the rescued people weren’t injured, and the two children who were on the bus got off safely without injury.
The rainfall and runoff also snarled traffic and contributed to numerous collisions.
The Mount Rose ski resort southwest of Reno reported 6 to 7 inches (15 to 17 cm) of snow Tuesday night and early Wednesday.
Chain controls were in effect for the Mount Rose Highway connecting Reno to Lake Tahoe. U.S. Interstate 80 was open without controls over the top of the Sierra, but chain controls also were in effect on part of Geiger Grade near Virginia City and Kingsbury Grade near South Lake Tahoe, California.
Chains were required on all vehicles except four-wheel-drive or allwheel-drive with snow tires on the Mount Rose Highway.
Snow also was falling at resorts on the south and north end of Lake Tahoe. But a winter weather advisory there expired at noon, and snow was expected to taper off Wednesday afternoon.
The winter weather advisory continued into Thursday for parts of Lander, Eureka, Nye and White Pine counties. Three to 6 inches (8 to 15 cm) of snow was expected at elevations above 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) with up to 3 inches (8 cm) below that level.
The service said Wednesday 0.72 inch of rain (18 millimeters) fell at Lahontan Dam in Churchill County. Carson City received 0.41 inch (10 mm), Lovelock and Gardnerville about 0.3 inch (7 mm) and RenoTahoe International Airport 0.12 inch (3 mm).