By LENORE RUTHERFORD
A fast-moving storm dumped a half-inch of snow within a few minutes on Sonora Thursday afternoon, creating havoc for the after-work commute.
Sonora Police Department officers responded to six separate snow-related calls between 4:07 and 4:58 p.m.
The California Highway Patrol also responded to six non-injury accidents in Tuolumne County during the early evening hours and towed 10 cars.
Those owners have a tow bill to pay this morning, said CHP spokesman Mike Buller. A set of chains would have been a lot cheaper.
Buller said the storm left a mess on roadsides from Sonora to Twain Harte.
Officers are busy this morning having cars towed that are in ditches, stuck on the roadsides or blocking roads, he said. They will all be towed unless the owners get there before we do.
Jack Lewis of Mono Village planned to do some after-work shopping until his pickup truck started sliding on Highway 108 just east of Hess Avenue about 4:15 p.m.
Thats when he decided to go to Jamestown and get some rock to put in the bed of the pickup for traction.
Coming back, it took me 35 minutes to get from Lime Kiln Road to Tuolumne Junction, he said. The traffic was backed up as far as you could see.
David Hobbs spent 40 minutes driving from Standard to his Phoenix Lake home Thursday evening.
He started up Phoenix Lake Road about 4:30, said his wife Phyllis this morning, but that road was a parking lot. He turned around and tried Peaceful Valley Road, but it was blocked with cars too, so he went to Soulsbyville and took the back road into Ridgewood Estates.
That road extends from Soulsbyville to Phoenix Lake Road.
Ron Boyd-Snee of Jamestown said snow was falling on Fifth Avenue in Jamestown about 4 p.m.