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Avalanche warnings hit Sierra Nevada after snowstorm

RENO — A late-winter storm dumped heavy snow Friday on northern Nevada, closing schools and public buildings in the Reno area, delaying the opening of a ski resort in the Sierra Nevada and shutting down a highway to California.

The National Weather Service issued winter storm and avalanche warnings for backcountry mountains. The 10.3 inches recorded at Reno-Tahoe International Airport pushed the monthly snow total to 18.3 inches — the fourth-most in the last 100 years, meteorologist Evan LaGuardia said.

The total fell short of the 29 inches in March 1952 that set the record for the month.

“And we’re not done with March,” LaGuardia said, adding that forecasts call for another wet storm system to sweep through the area next week.

Interstate 80 was closed through the day between the Nevada state line and Colfax, California, according to Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Matthew McLaughlin. Mount Rose Highway was closed in the morning.

McLaughlin said multiple vehicles skidded off roads in the Reno area, but no serious injuries were reported.

Mount Rose Ski Area opened late, reporting 30 inches of new snow.

Washoe County issued a mid-afternoon avalanche alert for homes and facilities in the Crystal Bay and Third Creek areas of Incline Village near Lake Tahoe. Residents who wanted to evacuate were advised to do so before nightfall.

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