Snow closes passes; to reopen this weekend

Union Democrat staff

Sonora Pass and Tioga Pass are both expected to reopen for weekend travel after being shut down because of icy road conditions and a thin layer of snow Thursday night and early this morning.

Caltrans announced the closure of Highway 108 from the Kennedy Meadows area near Sonora Pass to the Mono County Line about 12:50 p.m. Thursday. Caltrans officials Thursday evening didn't know how long the stretch would remain closed.

Tioga Pass on Highway 120 was closed late Thursday night but was expected to reopen today, according to the Yosemite National Park road condition hotline, 372-0200.

Ebbetts Pass on Highway 4 remained open.

Caltrans spokeswoman Chantel Miller said the amount of snow on the pass was minimal, but the road conditions were icy enough to warrant the closure.

"We have to make sure that the snow is cleaned up and there is no ice, so motorists can drive safely," she said.

Miller on Thursday said the pass wasn't expected to reopen overnight, but could reopen Friday depending on the weather.

The National Weather Service predicted scattered showers in the area Thursday night with a 40 percent chance of precipitation.

A chance of showers possibly yielding less than one-tenth of an inch of precipitation was predicted today before clearing up over the weekend.

The NWS predicted highs ranging from 50 to 70 degrees and lows ranging from 40 to 50 degrees through Monday.

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The Union Democrat
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