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Sierra Drivers Struggle Through Snowstorm

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, March 7, 2013

The clanking of tire chains in the quiet falling snow is a familiar sound here. Drivers like Courtney, who declined to say her last name, are a familiar sight on the side of the freeway putting on chains.

Courtney: "Well I am 8 months pregnant and cars are coming at me, so it is a little scary."

She gave up trying to put them on and went down the road to get some help.

Courtney: "On the highway there is all these people down there.  They have a seasonal job where they come out when it is snowy season and they charge like a buttload of money." 

Ambi: "Pull forward, hold it, now back up."

Seuter: "I'm putting chains on."

Herb Seuter is one of those guys.

Seuter: "It's been pretty decent this morning."

Fifty dollars for chains, 30 to install them and a 20 dollar tip.  He doesn't recommend dropping $100 to get over the pass if you don't have to.

Seuter: "Carry chains, buy them before you come up, have water and blankets in your car like they tell everyone to do in case you break down or something."

After installing chains on 20 cars in the morning, he thought he might be done by noon.  Ten minutes later, two big rigs crashed west-bound, shutting down 80, causing a two-mile back-up and forcing all the traffic to turn around and head back to Reno.  The lesson: Don't come unless you have to and if you do come, maybe to ski, then be prepared.

Seuter: "Okay, thank you very much, good to go!"

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